Binding offers for Italian asset management company Pioneer are expected by next Thursday Nov. 10th, even if it is possible a delay in the deadline as a final decision by seller Unicredit will not come before results of a public vote on Italy’s Constitutional Law next Dec 4th. Moreover an announcement about exclusive talks with a potential winner of the auction is not expected before next Dec 13th, when the bank will publish its new business plan and strategic review (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Bidding for Pioneer are Poste Italiane (inconsortium with Cassa depositi e Prestiti and Italy’s asset maanger Anima Holding), Frend asset manager Amundi, Australian asset manager Macquarie, Ameriprise Financial (the parent company of Threadneedle Asset Management) and Aberdeen Asset Management (see Reuters). Other bidders in a first phase of the auction were said to be insurance groups Generali, Axa and Allianz, but they seem to have lowered their interest in the last few weeks. Private equity firms have been excluded from the auction this time by Uncredit’s ceo Jean-Paul Mustier who prefers to find an agreement with a strategic asset manager instead.
Amundi’s ceo Yves Perrier officially confirmed its interest in the deal last week, but denied to have bid 4 billion euros or more as market rumors had said. Amundi’s bid is said to be the highest while on average bids are said to be in a 3.2-3.4 billion euros range. That is way Poste, Macquarie and Aberdeen are talking about a possibile alliance for the deal. When a deal had been signed with Banco Santander, in consortium with Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic, before it was canceled, Pioneer had been valued 2.75 billion euros (see ahere a previous post by BeBeez).