UniCredit seeks strategic partner for asset manager Pioneer-sources

Wed Sep 7, 2016 12:21pm EDT
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* Bank reviewing asset sales to boost capital

* 10 potential bidders contacted for Pioneer-source

* Bank mulling large-size sale of bad loans-sources

By Gianluca Semeraro and Paola Arosio

MILAN, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Italy's largest bank UniCredit is seeking a strategic partner for its asset management business Pioneer, as part of a plan to bolster its capital base, several sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

UniCredit in July ended long-running negotiations to merge Pioneer with Santander's asset management division in a deal valuing Pioneer at 2.75 billion euros ($3.1 billion) because of regulatory hurdles.

The Italian bank said then it was looking at alternative options for Pioneer, including a market listing.

Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Mustier, appointed in July, is widely expected to launch a multi-billion euro capital increase and sell assets in coming months to boost UniCredit's balance sheet.

He is conducting a wide-ranging review of the bank's operations, with an announcement expected by the end of the year.   Continued...