UniCredit and Santander close to merging asset management services

Acquisition1Italian bank UniCredit is nearing a deal to merge Pioneer Investments with Santander Asset Management, which is owned by Spain’s Santander Group and two private equity firms.

Talks about the merger started last year and it is reported that a deal could be reached by the end of the week.

The combined entity would be worth around €5.5 billion, with assets under management of approximately €400 billion. A spokesperson for the bank confirmed that UniCredit’s chief executive officer, Federico Ghizzoni, has said publicly that the bank is nearing a deal with Santander.

According to reports, the deal would involve splitting off Pioneer’s US activities to avoid Santander bank antagonising US regulators. The merged entity would instead be part of a different transaction. Neither Santander nor UniCredit would comment on this point.

Talks of a merger began in September last year although were disrupted by the death of the Santander’s chairman Emilio Botín, who had run the bank for 28 years.

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