Pioneer's Fate Remains Up in the Air
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Friday, April 08, 2011

Pioneer's Fate Remains Up in the Air

Is the Pioneer [see profile] sale still on?

Amid reports that UniCredit has decided not to sell Pioneer Investments unit, UniCredit officials said they have yet to make a decision on Pioneer's fate.

Today, Italian business paper Il Sole 24 Ore reported that UniCredit decided not to sell Pioneer because the bids from the three suitors -- Amundi, Natixis and Resolution Ltd -- were too low. The report was picked up by media outlets including Bloomberg.

Reuters, meanwhile, reported that UniCredit made the decision to halt the sale about two days ago "after deciding that it would be 'madness' to press ahead with a sale to a foreign buyer in the current political climate," citing an anonymous source. According to the article, UniCredit "did not manage to carry out a tie-up" with Intesa Sanpaolo's fund manager Eurizon. Last month, the head of Italy's central bank reportedly told UniCredit to try to sell Pioneer to an Italian buyer, perhaps by merging Pioneer with Milan-based Eurizon.

In response to the latest news reports, a UniCredit spokesperson told Reuters that no decision has been made on Pioneer's future: "We are in the time frame we set ourselves. We are evaluating various options including that of keeping Pioneer and relaunching it."

See also coverage from Bloomberg and Dow Jones.

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