The merger plans – first revealed in late 2014 – were abandoned despite an agreement’s being signed last November.
In a statement to the Milan stock exchange, UniCredit said: “The parties held detailed discussions to identify viable solutions to meet all regulatory requirements to complete the transaction, but, in the absence of any workable solution within a reasonable time horizon, the parties have concluded that ending the talks was the most appropriate course of action.”
The statement went on to say that, as part of a group-wide strategic review announced earlier this month by new chief executive Jean-Pierre Mustier, Pioneer’s future would also be considered.
It added that a listing of the asset manager was now possible.
Explaining its thinking for listing Pioneer, UniCredit said: “This is to ensure the company has the adequate resources to accelerate growth and continue to further develop best-in-class solutions and products to offer its clients and partners.”
This is not the first time UniCredit has failed to sell Pioneer, which had €224bn in assets as of the end of last year.
It saw the collapse of a sale to French asset manager Amundi during the euro-zone crisis.
A number of other bidders were said to be interested in the manager before UniCredit began exclusive talks with Baco Santander, the asset manager’s parent.
The other bidders were reportedly from the private equity space, including Advent International and a group including CVC Capital Partners and Singapore sovereign fund GIC.