The separation of the private equity arm of Barclays from the bank itself is "imminent", according to industry insiders.
Barclays Private Equity can achieve its long-stated aim of spinning out of the bank once it has reached "first close" on its latest round of fundraising. First close means that not all the ¤1.5bn-to-¤2bn target will have been raised, but that the private equity group can start spending the money.
It is understood that this won't be for at least two weeks, but will be reached by early summer. This is a year later than the original target.
Few banks now own private equity arms and the business does not fit with the ambitions of Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond. He is looking to improve the fortunes of the investment banking division.
Barclays Private Equity hit the headlines last month when it bought a majority stake in The Mill, the visual effects business, from US rival The Carlyle Group for £119m.