LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Italian asset manager Anima has agreed a 700 million euro ($823 million) deal to buy rival Aletti Gestielle from Italy’s third largest bank Banco BPM , a source close to the matter told Reuters.
Discussions between Anima and Aletti started earlier this year when BPM, which owns 14.7 percent of Anima, decided to streamline its assets portfolio and offload Aletti, a former unit of Banco Popolare with around 17 billion euros of assets under management.
Banco BPM, which was formed last year from the merger of Banca Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare has already a distribution agreement in place with Anima until 2030.
BPM was not immediately available to comment and Anima declined to comment.
Anima, which has a market value of 2.1 billion euros, will pay about 700 million euros to secure control of Aletti, the source said.
He added BPM will receive further payments worth an overall 400 million euros in connection to this divestment, of which 250 million euros are related to excess capital that Aletti will need to return to BPM towards the end of this year, before the deal is closed.
Barclays acted as sole adviser to BPM on the deal while Mediobanca and Bank of America advised Anima, the source said.
Aletti drew interest from other domestic and international players including Italy’s Azimut.
A number of European asset managers have joined forces recently as they scramble to gain regional or global scale and streamline operations to cope with declining fees and tougher regulatory scrutiny.
Among them is France’s Amundi, which bought rival Pioneer Investments from UniCredit for 3.6 billion euros in December in a bid to win market share in Europe.
In Britain, meanwhile, investment managers Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management agreed an 11 billion pound merger in March to create Britain’s biggest money manager and Europe’s second biggest with 660 billion pounds in assets. ($1 = 0.8503 euros) (Reporting By Pamela Barbaglia, editing by David Evans)