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Rating:Has UniCredit Found the Right Partner to Back Pioneer? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Has UniCredit Found the Right Partner to Back Pioneer?

News summary by MFWire's editors

UniCredit's sale of Pioneer Investments [profile] is nigh. Yet UniCredit insists that Pioneer is a strategic asset that isn't for sale. Huh?

Il Sole 24 Ore, a national daily business newspaper in Italy, reported last month that the giant Italian bank is now considering bids for 50 percent of Pioneer, not the whole thing. The paper names CVC Capital Partners and Advent capital management as the two private equity firms with offers on the table, while giant Spanish bank Santander is described as not out of the running yet, either.

The newspaper article described one of the bidders as Advent, yet there are a number of Advents in the investment space. The most likely candidate is global private firm Advent International. Spokespeople for Advent International, for Pioneer and for CVC Capital each declined to comment for this story. MFWire could not immediately reach Kamil Salame, partner and U.S. head of CVC's financial institutions group, for comment.

Other dark horse candidates for the Advent mentioned in the article include: Advent Capital Management, LLC, a New York City- and London-based RIA that invests mostly in hedge funds and closed-end funds; Advent Capital Partners, a Newport Beach, California-based shop that specializes in "commercial real estate finance, investments and asset management"; Advent Capital LLC, a boutique wealth management shop in Roseville, California; Advent Private Capital, a mid-market private equity firm in Australia; Advent Capital (Holdings) LTD, a London-based insurance underwriting group that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited; and Advent Venture Partners, a London-based venture capital firm focused on tech and life sciences businesses.

CVC's name has come up before as a bidder for other asset managers with a U.S. mutual fund presence. Six years ago one report named CVC as a bidder for the fallen Lehman Brothers' asset management business, including the now-independent Neuberger Berman. In 2009 CVC tried to buy iShares from Barclays, only to have BlackRock swoop in and buy all of Barclays Global Investors (including iShares). And earlier this year CVC was reportedly one of the bidders for Russell, though the LSE won out.

The Italian paper says that analysts are estimating the value of all of Pioneer at between two billion and three billion euros, i.e. $2.63 billion to $3.94 billion. As of July 31, Pioneer managed $249.8 billion worldwide (including $71.5 billion in the U.S.), putting the price estimates at 1.05 to 1.58 percent of assets under management. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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