November 23, 2017 / 3:31 PM / a year ago

Mediobanca takes over Switzerland's RAM AI in asset management drive

MILAN, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s Mediobanca said on Thursday it had agreed to buy 69 percent of Swiss asset manager RAM Active Investments as part of plans to grow its wealth management business.

The bank did not disclose financial details but said the deal would soak up about 30 basis points of its Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio and would be slightly accretive on its earnings per share.

Milan-based broker Equita said it estimated RAM AI could be worth around 180 million-200 million Swiss francs ($183-204 million) with a multiple of 13-15 times earnings.

“The multiple paid is very reasonable given the potential synergies,” it said.

Mediobanca, which controls Italy’s biggest insurer Generali , has shifted its focus in recent years to traditional banking and capital-light, fee-generating businesses such as asset management, pledging to sell down its portfolio of stakes in top Italian firms.

Last year it bought out private banker Banca Esperia after acquiring British credit manager Cairn Capital and Barclays’ Italian branches in 2015.

“Mediobanca is strongly committed to the development of an alternative asset management business,” CEO Alberto Nagel said.

RAM AI, which is based in Geneva, has 4.9 billion Swiss francs of assets under management and high double digit net income.

$1 = 0.9811 Swiss francs Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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