Santander and UniCredit end fund management merger talks

Added 27th July 2016

A deal to merge the fund management businesses of Italy’s UniCredit and Spain’s Santander has officially been called off.

Santander and UniCredit end fund management merger talks

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 deal

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.

CEO deprture

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.

Strategic review

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. 

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Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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