UniCredit confirmed Wednesday that it has agreed with Santander Asset Management’s joint owners, Banco Santander and Sherbrooke Acquisition Corp, to terminate the agreement entered into on 11 November 2015.
The statement said: “The parties held detailed discussions to identify viable solutions to meet all regulatory requirements to complete the transaction, but in the absence of any workable solution within a reasonable time horizon, the parties have concluded that ending the talks was the most appropriate course of action.”
The merger would have seen Santander Asset Management combined with UniCredit’s Pioneer Global Asset Management.
Valued at around €5.4bn (£4.5bn, $5.9bn) last year, the merged firms would have created a holding company named Pioneer Investments, with combined assets under management of around €400bn.
The deal would have created one of the biggest fund groups in Europe but it had encountered a number of regulatory and governance hurdles since it was first announced in April 2015.
UniCredit chief executive Federico Ghizzoni’s announcement in May that he was to step down dealt a further blow to the merger plans.
Reports at the time suggested that Ghizzoni’s departure could spell the end of the deal.
Pioneer will now be included in the scope of the group-wide strategic review announced by UniCredit in early July.
The company advised that it will explore the best alternatives for all Pioneer stakeholders, including a potential IPO.