Unicredit poised to sell Ireland’s largest asset manager

Pioneer Investment Management may be sold to French investment firm Amundi

Unicredit  European investment headquarters, Pioneer Investments, has been located on George’s Quay in Dublin since 1998.

Unicredit European investment headquarters, Pioneer Investments, has been located on George’s Quay in Dublin since 1998.

 

Italy’s largest lender, Unicredit, said on Monday it is in exclusive talks to sell its Pioneer Global Asset Management Unit, which employs hundreds of staff in its European headquarters in Dublin, to French investment firm Amundi.

The business may be valued at as much as €3.5 billion, according to reports. Unicredit is seeking to sell the unit as part of efforts to restore confidence in the bank after its shares plunged 60 per cent this year.

The bank is also considering a share sale, though this may be affected by political turmoil resulting from Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi’s decision to resign after voters rejected his efforts to overhaul government through a referendum over the weekend.

Failed sale

Pioneer, bought by Unicredit in 2000, traces its origins back to one of the oldest US mutual funds, created in 1928 by Philip L Carret, a financial reporter at business weekly Barrons. Unicredit was involved in talks earlier this year to sell the firm, which has €226 billion of assets under management, to Spanish banking giant Santander. Those plans fell through in July.

Unicredit has housed its European investment base on George’s Quay in Dublin since 1998. The Irish unit, Pioneer Investment Management Ltd, had 473 employees at the end of last year, according to its most recent set of accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office.

The Dublin-based business, which is the largest asset manager in the country, reported an operating profit of €20.2 million last year.