(Bloomberg) -- State Street Corp. is exploring a potential acquisition of Societe Generale SA’s custody business, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the French lender pushes to streamline its operations. 

Boston-based State Street has been discussing terms of a possible purchase of Societe Generale Securities Services, known as SGSS, the people said. Societe Generale has been seeking more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) for the business, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. 

The unit also attracted interest from other suitors, and there’s no certainty State Street will reach a deal, according to the people. Representatives for Societe Generale and State Street declined to comment. 

Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer Slawomir Krupa has been working to divest the lender’s less profitable units in order to strengthen its capital buffers. In the role for almost a year, the former investment banker is seeking to win back investor confidence after a new strategy disappointed shareholders when it was unveiled in September. 

Last week, the bank agreed to sell its equipment finance unit to BPCE SA for €1.1 billion and said it will offload the bulk of its Moroccan business to Saham Group in a €745 million deal. Societe Generale has also been exploring the disposals of German consumer business Hanseatic Bank, as well as UK private banking arm Kleinwort Hambros and Swiss private banking assets, Bloomberg News has reported.

Firms providing securities services play an important regulatory role in the investment industry, helping keep assets safe for financial institutions’ clients for a fee in return. State Street and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. are among the biggest players in this space.

--With assistance from Dinesh Nair and Sonia Sirletti.

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