Amundi enters exclusive talks on Pioneer deal

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Amundi is reported to have entered exclusive talks with Italian bank Unicredit about the sale of Pioneer Investments.

The deal could also deliver Unicredit a special dividend of €800m in addition to sale proceeds, the Wall St Journal reports, citing a person close to the deal.

Spokespeople from Amundi and Unicredit refused to comment.

Pioneer has assets under management of €225.8bn.

Amundi confirmed its interest in the asset manager in October, stating the deal would “consistent with the growth strategy presented at the time of its IPO”.

The French asset manager, which is 75 per cent owned by Credit Agricole, went public in November.

Last month, Aberdeen Asset Management withdrew its bid for Pioneer because the €3.5bn price tag was too big.

Next week Unicredit will detail how it plans to bolster its capital base under new regulations, an issue that currently pervades the Italian banking sector.

Political uncertainty from the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and voters’ rejection of the country’s referendum on constitutional reform threatens financial market stability just as the banking sector needs to raise capital.