Société Générale is preparing to offload its asset management arm Lyxor as it looks to shore up finances following two consecutive quarterly losses, Reuters has reported.

The French bank has hired Citigroup to oversee the sale of the asset manager which is expected to start in Q4, sources told Reuters.

The asset manager has around €132bn AUM, as at the end of June, of which €70.2bn is in ETFs making it the third largest ETF issuer behind BlackRock and DWS.

The business is valued at around $1bn, according to one source, and is being aimed at firms in Europe and the US including French and German asset managers Amundi and DWS.

“Interested parties” have already been contacted about the potential sale, one source added.

“It has all ben prepared and is ready to start, but the board has yet to sign it off,” the source said.

The potential sale comes just under a year after Lyxor completed the integration of Commerzbank’s asset management activities including its €8.6bn ComStage ETF range.

Société Générale acquired the ETF business in July 2018 enabling Lyxor to challenge DWS to become Europe’s second-largest ETF issuer.

However, the French asset manager has fallen behind DWS which now has €96.7bn AUM under its Xtrackers brand as at the end of Q2.

The rat race to become Europe’s number two ETF provider

In August last year, it was reported the French bank was weighing up the potential sale of Lyxor however nothing materialised.