Europe’s largest asset manager, Amundi, appeared poised to sign a deal with Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, to buy its asset management subsidiary Pioneer Investments, according to a joint statement from the two businesses today.
UniCredit, which reported total group assets of €874.5bn at the end of September, and Amundi said in a statement: “UniCredit and Amundi today announced that they have entered into exclusive negotiations in relation to the possible sale of the Pioneer Investments business to Amundi.”
Last month, UniCredit confirmed it had offers on the table from different parties wanting to buy Pioneer Investments and that it was in negotiations with potential buyers.
Italy’s postal service Poste Italiane was one of the parties bidding for Pioneer, having formed a group with Italian bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Italian independent asset manager ANIMA to do so.
Offers for Pioneer have been reported in the media at around €3.6bn.
UniCredit is holding a “capital markets day” in London on 13 December, at which it has said it will unveil the outcome of the strategic review it is now undertaking.
The group-wide review is focusing on how to reinforce and make the best of UniCredit’s capital position, the bank has said, as well as improving profitability and making sure its operations are continuously transformed while at the same time keeping the flexibility necessary to “seize value-creating opportunities.”
UniCredit, like many other Italian banks, is attempting to strengthen its capital base.
Despite the announcement suggesting a deal may be close, UniCredit’s share price fell by more than 4% in Monday’s trading, in line with those of other Italian banks, after Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi’s reform plans were rejected in a referendum.
Amundi has its headquarters in Paris and manages more than €1trn of assets.