Is Pioneer-Anima In the Cards?
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Is Pioneer-Anima In the Cards?

Perhaps Pioneer Investments [profile] will soon become Pioneer-Anima, or Anima-Pioneer, at least if one consortium of bidders wins the auction. Meanwhile, another bidder is amping up its stake in a different asset manager. [See MFWire's living timeline of the Pioneer auction for more details and history.]

Marco Carreri
Second round bids were reportedly due with Pioneer parent UniCredit (an Italian bank) last week, and Anima (an Italian asset manager), CDP (Cassa depositi e prestiti, an Italian state bank), and Poste Italiane (the Italian post office) publicly confirmed that, as previously rumored, they are throwing their collective hat in the ring. Though the trio did not disclose the price of their bid, they did disclose the structure: Poste will merge its asset management business into Anima (with a combined 147 billion euros [$157 billion] in AUM), and then they would merge Pioneer with Anima, too. (Pioneer had $252 billion in AUM as of September 30.)

Reuters picked up on the consortium's plans.

Separately, French asset manager Amundi, rumored to be the leading bidder for Pioneer leading up to round two last week, revealed that it has amped up its minority stake in another French asset manager, TOBAM, to 20 percent. Amundi and TOBAM have been strategic partners since 2012, and, P&I notes, prior to this week's move Amundi owned 10.6 percent of TOBAM. TOBAM had $9.1 billion in AUM as of September 2016, and Amundi has more than one trillion euros in AUM ($1.071 trillion).

As for the Anima-CDP-Poste Italiane consortium, the trio make logical allies. CDP owns 35 percent of Poste Italiane, which in turn owns 10.32 percent of Anima. And as part of the deal for merging Poste Italiane's asset management arm, BancoPosta Fondi, into Anima, Poste Italiane's stake in Anima will rise to a maximum of 24.9 percent.

"Today ... we perform a new important step in the asset management business, with the ambition to create an Italian player that, taking advantage of new competences also international, reinforces the growth perspectives in a strategic sector for the country," Poste Italiane CEO Francesco Caio stated last week. Stay tuned next month to see who wins the bidding for Pioneer ...

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