Pioneer's parent and Pioneer's leading suitors are all European, yet Pioneer's U.S. business may play a key role in the deal. [See MFWire's living timeline
of the Pioneer auction for more details and history.]
| Giordano Lombardo|
CEO - Group CIO
is now the leading bidder for Pioneer
], Financial News reports
. And an unnamed source tells the publication that Amundi "sees Pioneer's US business as a springboard for business in North America."
Amundi is not new to the Pioneer spinoff rumor mill. They were a contender in bidding six years ago
, though at that time UniCredit
ended up deciding not to sell. And this time around, Amundi has even publicly confirmed
"its interest in Pioneer" while refuting the rumored 4-billion-euro bid ($4.39 billion). Financial News
now reports that Amundi would be willing to pay more than 3 billion euros ($3.29 billion).
Paris-based Amundi is a European asset management titan with more than 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in AUM, more than four times the size of Pioneer (which has 225.8 billion euros, i.e. $252 billion, in AUM). Amundi CEO Yves Perrier
says that buying Pioneer would allow him to "reinforce three countries: Italy, Germany and Austria." And Financial News
points out another fun fact: Jean-Pierre Mustier
, who took over as CEO of Pioneer parent UniCredit earlier this year, "was involved in the creation of Amundi when he worked at SocGen." (Societe Generale and Credit Agricole merged their asset management arms five years ago to create Amundi.)
Yet several other Pioneer bidders have surfaced this year, too. Italian insurer Generali
is now out of the running, an unnamed source tells Financial News
. Yet Poste Italiane
is reportedly leading a consortium of bidders, and Macquarie
could be bidding, too.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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