UniCredit, Santander Sign Binding Accord on Asset Management

  • The Spanish and Italian banks expect the deal to close in 2016
  • The new company will have about 370 billion euros in assets

UniCredit SpA and Banco Santander SA have reached a binding agreement to combine their asset management units, Pioneer Global Asset Management SpA and Santander Asset Management, the Italian lender said Wednesday in a stock-exchange statement.

The deal is expected to close next year following regulatory approval, UniCredit said.

Under the accord announced in April, the combination will create a holding company called Pioneer Investments that will be owned by UniCredit, Santander and Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic, the two U.S. buyout firms that already own half of Santander’s asset-management business.

The U.S. business of Pioneer will be owned by the Italian lender and the private-equity funds. A spokesman for UniCredit confirmed that the final terms in the binding accord are the same announced in April.

The transaction values the combined company at about 5.4 billion euros ($5.8 billion), Santander said in April. Juan Alcaraz, current CEO of Santander Asset Management, will be the CEO of the new unit, and Giordano Lombardo, current CEO and chief investment officer of Pioneer Investments, will be the global CIO.

The new manager will oversee about 370 billion euros in assets.

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