MILAN Oct 3 Italian bank UniCredit
will choose the buyer of its Pioneer asset manager after a
referendum on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's flagship
constitutional reform on Dec. 4, three sources close to the
matter said on Monday.
The sale of the asset gatherer is part of a broader effort
by Italy's biggest bank to improve its capital ratios. Led by
its new CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier, the bank is due to unveil a new
strategic plan on Dec. 13.
Last week sources have said that the lender may need to
raise as much as 16 billion euros ($18 billion) through asset
sales and a planned share issue.
The disposal of Pioneer could add around 3 billion euros to
the bank's coffers, sources have said.
"Everything is pushed back till after the referendum," one
of the sources said.
The fate of the Italian government likely hinges on the
outcome of the referendum, and political instability in case of
a 'No' vote could overshadow UniCredit's fundraising efforts.
UniCredit declined to comment.
The lender has granted four bidders access to Pioneer's data
room, two sources said last week, citing France's Amundi
, Europe's biggest asset gatherer, a consortium led by
Poste Italiane, and top Italian player Assicurazioni
Generali among the suitors.
($1 = 0.8916 euros)
(Reporting by Paola Arosio and Gianluca Semeraro; writing by
Francesca Landini; editing by Agnieszka Flak)