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Santander, UniCredit to merge asset management units

Spanish bank Banco Santander has reached a primary agreement with Italian UniCredit to merge their asset management units and combine all activities of the two money managers. The merger will see the creation of a holding company retaining UniCredit’s Pioneer Investments brand, which will be 50%-owned by UniCredit and 50%-owned by private-equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic. The two private-equity firms together currently own 50% of Santander Asset Management. The newly created holding company will own stakes in two units. One will comprise Pioneer’s U.S. business, which the holding company will control completely. The other unit will consist of Pioneer and Santander Asset Management’s non-U.S. businesses, of which the holding company will own two-thirds. The remaining third will be owned by Santander. The deal includes a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) cash payment to UniCredit from Santander and the two private-equity funds. The company resulting from the merger will have an enterprise value of around €5.5 billion and will have €400 billion in assets under management.

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