BlackRock, the US money manager, was last night poised to seal a deal to buy Barclays Global Investors in a move that will see Barclays exit the fund management business as the price for gaining a valuable boost to capital.

After several fraught days of negotiation, with frantic toing-and-froing over the legal niceties, BlackRock chief Larry Fink and Bob Diamond, who heads the asset management and investment banking operations of Barclays, were last night on the verge of signing the deal.

People close to the talks said the final valuation on BGI would be about $13.3bn (£8bn) after final-stage talks put a price range of between $13.2bn and $13.5bn on the unit.

The cash element of the transaction was set to be between $6.6bn and $6.9bn, with the rest payable in shares.

The deal is expected to add more than 1 percentage point to Barclays tier one capital ratio, a key measure of balance sheet strength, taking it beyond 8%.

Financial Times