French banking group Societe Generale is prepping up to put its asset management unit Lyxor on the block, valuing the business at nearly $1bn.

The move is part of the French bank’s to improve profitability following two consecutive quarterly losses, reported Reuters.

Hit by Covid-19-induced turmoil, the unit reported a 21.6% decrease in revenue to 40m in Q2 2020.

The sale is likely to launch in the final quarter of this year, added the report citing sources familiar with the matter.

According to the report, Societe Generale has already contacted interested parties though the likelihood of a deal is still uncertain.

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

The sale will be aimed at bidders in Europe and the US. Among them are Amundi and DWS.

Citigroup will reportedly manage the sale of the unit, which managed €132bn ($156bn) in assets at the end of June 2020.

Neither Societe Generale nor Citi commented on the matter.

Previously, Societe Generale has offloaded several businesses that failed to deliver synergies.

The bank already sold assets in Eastern Europe and its Nordics-based SG Finans arm to Nordea Bank.

In 2019, Societe Generale sold its Belgian private banking unit to ABN Amro.

The bank is also considering strategic options for its UK wealth management arm Kleinwort Hambros.

Lyxor moves

ETFs account for around half of Lyxor’s business.

The business is the third-largest ETF provider in Europe.

Lyxor Asset Management recently appointed Florence Barjou as its new CIO, replacing Guillaume Lasserre.

Last November, Lyxor expanded its presence in Germany by merging its business with Commerzbank’s asset management activities.

In October 2019, Lyxor unveiled plans to divest from companies exposed to thermal coal as part of its new climate policy.