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Monday, December 5, 2016

The Pioneer Bidding Narrows ... to One

News summary by MFWire's editors

The race to buy Pioneer Investments [profile] is now just one bidder's auction to lose. [See MFWire's living timeline of the Pioneer auction for more details and history.]

Jean-Pierre Mustier
Italian bank UniCredit and French asset manager Amundi confirm today in a one-sentence joint statement that "they entered into exclusive negotiations" about Amundi buying Pioneer from UniCredit.

The Financial Times, Financial News, MarketWatch, and the TheStreet all reported on Amundi and UniCredit's joint revelation.

The revelation comes as the Italian prime minister is stepping down in the wake of Italian voters' rejection of a constitutional reform referendum. For some time, the buzz has been that UniCredit would not decide Pioneer's fate until that referendum, which was held yesterday. The expectation is that UniCredit CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier will make big announcements, including about the result of the Pioneer auction, at UniCredit's planned investor day in London on December 13.

Fundsters who have been watching the Pioneer auction may not be surprised to hear that Amundi is close to sealing the deal. Six years ago Amundi made it to the shortlist of bidders under consideration, only to have UniCredit decide not to sell Pioneer after all. This year Amundi was outed as a bidder in September and even confirmed its interest a month later. Word is that bidding this time around has reached 3.5 billion euros (about $3.7 billion).

It appears that buying Pioneer (a multinational asset manager with a U.S. headquarters in Boston) would be Amundi's first entrance into the U.S. asset management business. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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