Despite the rumours, top Spanish Bank Santander -Eurozone’s 3rd largest by market cap- will indeed complete this year the merger of its asset management fund (Santander AM) with Pioneer Investments, Italian UniCredit’s subsidiary, once the operation meets the regulatory and legal requirements. A EUR5.3 bn deal that has been simmering for more than 20 months.
The Financial Times reported last week that risks derived from the Brexit vote and the market fears about Italian banking industry -Unicredit had even seen management changes-, may compromise the merger. However Santander will stick to its plan and create an equity fund holding around EUR353 billion in assets in Europe and LatAm.
Ex-SocGen chief Jean-Pierre Mustier was named new CEO at the end of June, replacing Federico Ghizzoni who stepped down after months of investor dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, Santander executive chairman Emilio Botín died in September 2014 just before the initial deal was agreed and was replaced then by his daughter Ana Patricia Botín.
According to the terms of revised agreement, Santander Asset Management and Pioneer Investments would each have a 33 per cent stake in the combined company. Furthermore, it would operate in 31 countries and have a total staff of 2.800 people.