After 20 months in negotiations, UniCredit announced on Wednesday that it has agreed with Banco Santander and Sherbrooke Acquisition to terminate the agreements entered into on 11 November 2015 to combine Pioneer Investments and Santander Asset Management. The merger would have created one Europe's leading asset managers with around 370 billion euros (almost $400 billion) in assets under management.
According to a press release by Unicredit, "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."
Further to UniCredit's announcement on 11 July 2016 of a Group-wide strategic review, the results of which will be communicated to the market before the end of 2016, Pioneer will now be included in the scope of the strategic review to explore the best alternatives for all Pioneer stakeholders including 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."
Meanwhile in Spain, and during Santander's earnings release presentation, José Antonio Álvarez, Santander's CEO commented that "we will cancel the transaction. We will develop Santander AM along with our partners and strive to build an asset management business that excels in serving our clients."
Pioneer has presence in 28 countries and an experienced team of over 2,000 employees, including more than 350 investment professionals. It manages €225 billion in assets and is known internationally as one of the leading fixed income managers across all strategies. It also offers strong capabilities in European, US and global equities, as well as multi-asset and outcome-oriented, non-traditional products.. Meanwhile, Santander Asset Management has presence in 11 countries, and assets of €172 billion across all types of investment vehicles. Santander Asset Management has over 755 employees worldwide, of which around 220 are investment professionals.