What's the Latest Buzz on Pioneer?
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Friday, September 17, 2010

What's the Latest Buzz on Pioneer?

Reuters has the latest buzz on Pioneer Investments [see profile], whose fate will be decided by its Italian parent UniCredit in the next few months.

[See MFWire's living timeline of the Pioneer auction for more details and history.]

The possible suitors mentioned in the article include four U.S.-headquartered firms.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reported that Federated Investors [see profile] "was looking to grow outside its home market and was interested in exploring a bid," and that Northern Trust [see profile], State Street [see profile] and Ameriprise Financial "were also likely interested in Pioneer."

The report also stated that if Pioneer were to be sold, UniCredit's branches in Europe will continue to sell Pioneer's products, "boosting the attraction of the asset manager in its potential 3 billion euro ($3.9 billion) auction."

Some industry consultants, however, think that UniCredit will opt for the strategic tie-up route rather than sell Pioneer, according to the report.

Last week, Bloomberg picked up on an article from Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, which stated that Invesco Ltd [see profile] and GAM Holding AG are interested in buying Pioneer.

The Italian paper reported that five companies are interested in acquiring Pioneer and another 20 would be interested in purchasing a portion of it.

Other names that have cropped up in previous media reports (see here and here) as being possible suitors for Pioneer include Natixis, BNP Paribas, Amundi Asset Management, John Hancock Funds, MFS Investment Management and Eaton Vance.

Private equity shops TA Associates and Hellman & Friedman have also been mentioned as being possibly interested.

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