Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Unicredit in talks to sell Irish unit

Jean Pierre Mustier
Jean Pierre Mustier

Sean Duffy

Italian bank Unicredit has announced it is in talks to sell its Irish-headquartered Pioneer Global Asset Management unit to French lender Amundi.

Pioneer Global Asset Management is headquartered in Dublin and employs over 470 people.

According to Reuters, Amundi is in pole position to take over the Irish-based subsidiary, with a bid of €3.5bn being discussed as part of an exclusive negotiation for the subsidiary.

The potential sale is seen as an attempt by Unicredit, which is headed up by Jean-Pierre Mustier, to reassure investors about the long-term viability of the business.

Concerns surrounding the health of Italian banks have spooked markets in recent months, and the defeat of a reform referendum on Sunday -which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi - has heightened the sense of uncertainty.

Pioneer has in excess of €200bn under management, and the firm recorded an operating profit of €20.2m last year.

Unicredit is Italy's largest lender and has endured a turbulent 12 months as concerns about the country's banks hit stock prices.

Unicredit shares have lost 63pc of their value in the last year.

Italian bank stocks have weighed heavily on Milan's FTSE MIB index, which is down by almost a quarter in the year to date.

Shares in Unicredit fell by 0.1pc after the announcement.

Irish Independent

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