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
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....