Anima CEO Favors Combination With Banco Popolare’s Gestielle

  • Combination ‘makes a lot of sense,’ Carreri says in interview
  • Company waiting for merger finalization before starting talks

Anima Holding SpA would be interested in combining with the asset-management unit of Banco Popolare SC after the Italian bank’s merger with Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl, Chief Executive Officer Marco Carreri said.

“A combination with Banco Popolare’s Gestielle makes a lot of sense from an industrial point of view,” Carreri said in a phone interview Friday.” The company is waiting for the finalization of the merger deal between the two lenders before starting talks, he said.

Anima is looking to play a role in consolidating Italian cooperative banks, some of which hold stakes in the asset manager. Banca Popolare di Milano, Anima’s biggest investor with a 16.8 percent stake, is in merger talks with Banco Popolare to become Italy’s third-largest lender.

Combining the two asset managers would help the banking group resulting from the Banco Popolare merger with Pop. Milano start in a position of strength, according to Carreri.

The deal “would be very positive for Anima,” said Wolfram Mrowetz, chairman of Alisei SIM, a Milan brokerage. “A merger with Gestielle would generate a lot of synergies and economies of scale.”

Anima’s shares rose as much as 2.5 percent after Carreri’s comments. The stock was up 1.6 percent to 5.43 euros at 3:40 p.m. in Milan.

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