DEAL: UniCredit’s €4 billion investment business sale

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 20 Dec 2016

Italy’s largest bank’s sale of its asset management unit could spur copycat divestiture deals from more lenders keen to ride out the country’s financial crisis.

UniCredit’s €3.8 billion ($4.04 billion) cash and share sale of its Pioneer Investment arm to French fund Amundi, which was agreed on December 13, was carried out to improve profitability, a common concern plaguing Italy’s ailing banking sector. Amundi is carrying out the acquisition to increase its reach in the European retail investment market.

Previous bidders for the business, one of Europe’s largest asset managers with €220 billion under management, are reported to have included Aberdeen Asset Management, Macquarie and Poste Italiane.

According to counsel, the timeframe between the agreement to sell and the expected closing of the acquisition in the first half of 2017 is short, signaling UniCredit’s intent to finalise the deal....