In a statement released Wednesday, Amundi said: “Following rumours in the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero concerning the submission of a non-binding offer for the purchase of Pioneer by Amundi, Amundi wishes to clarify the following points:
“Amundi confirms its interest in Pioneer, consistent with the growth strategy presented at the time of its IPO.
“Amundi denies however the Pioneer valuation levels attributed to it.”
The asset management firm reiterated its acquisition policy of adhering to strict financial criteria, especially regarding a return on investment greater than 10% over a three-year horizon.
UniCredit had been in talks to merge Pioneer with Santander Asset Management.
First announced in November 2015, the plans were abandoned in July after “discussions to identify viable solutions to meet all regulatory requirements to complete the transaction” failed in the “absence of any workable solution within a reasonable time horizon”.
Following the failed merger, UniCredit announced that Pioneer would be included in a group-wide strategic review.
According to Reuters, in addition to Amundi, Italy’s post office Poste Italiane, together with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and asset manager Anima Holding, submitted a preliminary offer for Pioneer in September.
The postal service was reportedly in talks with a group of banks earlier this week to raise up to €2bn to support its offer.
Also competing for Pioneer are Australia’s Macquarie and Aberdeen Asset Management, sources told the news agency.