Amundi, Poste Italiane Said Leading Bids for UniCredit’s Pioneer

Amundi SA and a venture including Poste Italiane SpA are the front-runners to acquire UniCredit SpA’s Pioneer Global Asset Management SpA unit after the Italian bank shortlisted bidders for the asset manager, according to people familiar with the matter.

Non binding offers exceeded 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) and UniCredit favors an all-cash deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Macquarie Group Ltd. is also on the shortlist and Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA has dropped out of the bidding, they said.

Representatives for Unicredit, Amundi, Poste, Generali and Macquarie declined to comment.

Jean-Pierre Mustier, who took over as UniCredit’s chief executive officer in July, plans to present a new business plan in the fourth quarter to lower costs and improve profitability. He is pursuing a sale of Pioneer after abandoning talks with Banco Santander SA earlier this year to combine their asset management arms.

Pioneer manages about 220 billion euros of assets and employs more than 2,000 people across 28 countries. UniCredit is considering tapping shareholders for as much as 5 billion euros and offloading other units besides Pioneer, people with knowledge of the matter said in July.

Poste Italiane is bidding with Anima Holding SpA and state-controlled bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA, the people said.

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