Amundi confirmed on Wednesday that it is interested in acquiring Pioneer Investments, UniCredit's asset management arm.
Following rumours in the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, concerning the submission of a non binding offer for the purchase of Pioneer by Amundi, Amundi issued a press release to confirm its interest in Pioneer, since it is "consistently with the growth strategy presented at the time of its IPO."
However, in the same statement, Amundi denied the close to $4.39 billion valuation attributed to Pioneer in said article and specified that "Amundi re-iterates that its acquisition policy adheres to strict financial criteria, in particular, a return on investment greater than 10% over a three-year horizon."
This would be the second time Amundi tries to buy Pioneer Investments and comes after the agreements to combine Pioneer Investments and Santander Asset Management were terminated.
However it seems that Jean-Pierre Mustier, Unicredit's new CEO and a former Société Générale executive, is set to part ways with Pioneer, which has been placed on UniCredit's group-wide strategic review since last July, when he stated they would even consider a potential IPO. "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."
Publicly traded since November 2015, Amundi is the largest European Asset Manager in terms of AUM, with over 1,000 billion euros worldwide.