Mediobanca SpA, Italy’s biggest publicly traded investment bank, is considering a takeover bid for Cairn Capital, a London-based credit investment manager, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Italian lender is in talks to acquire the asset management, restructuring and advisory firm, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. Talks are ongoing and any agreement could still be delayed or fall apart, the people said.
Representatives for Mediobanca and Cairn Capital declined to comment.
Paolo Cuniberti, who has worked as Mediobanca’s chief executive officer in London, was a former colleague of Tim Frost, who worked at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a credit derivatives banker before helping to set up Cairn. Frost and former JPMorgan colleague Paul Campbell, as well as former global co-heads of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s structured credit products business David Henriques and David Littlewood, were among the firm’s original employees.
Cairn, which focuses on derivatives and structured-credit assets, including collateralized loan obligations and commercial mortgage-backed securities, manages $5.4 billion of discretionary and legacy assets, according to its website.
It opened in 2004 in London with financial support from RBS and Star Capital Partners Ltd.