Amundi, the French asset manager, has confirmed it is interested in taking over Pioneer Investments from its parent, the Italian banking and financial services group UniCredit.
Amundi issued a statement following what it termed “rumours” in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero about the submission of a non-binding offer for the purchase of Pioneer by Amundi.
The French asset manager said: “Amundi confirms its interest in Pioneer, consistent with the growth strategy presented at the time of its IPO.”
However, it also said it denied the Pioneer valuation levels attributed to it.
Reports have put the valuation at €4bn.
“Amundi re-iterates that its acquisition policy adheres to strict financial criteria – in particular, a return on investment greater than 10% over a three-year horizon,” the firm said.
UniCredit is selling assets to bolster its capital.
The Italian group has said it would unveil the result of its group-wide strategic review at a London Capital Markets Day on 13 December.
Other parties interested in buying Pioneer, according to news reports, are Poste Italiane, Australian group Macquarie and the UK’s Aberdeen Asset Management.
At the end of July, UniCredit said it had ended talks with Spain’s Santander banking group about plans for a merger between Pioneer Investments and Santander Asset Management, even though an agreement was signed last November.
It said a listing of Pioneer was possible.