August 4, 2017 / 5:32 PM / 2 years ago

Banco BPM agrees $1.3 billion sale of asset manager to Anima

LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s third-largest bank, Banco BPM (BAMI.MI), is set to pocket up to 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from the sale of its asset management business Aletti Gestielle SGR to domestic rival Anima Holding (ANIM.MI), the companies said.

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.

Anima may raise 300 million euros in a share sale to fund the deal, which is set to create the fourth-biggest player in Italy’s fast-changing asset management industry and includes a 20-year partnership between Banco BPM and Anima.

Banco BPM, which now owns 15 percent of Anima, pledged to buy into the share issue and keep a significant stake. Banco BPM CEO Giuseppe Castagna told analysts the stake would be at least 9.9 percent.

Anima will pay Banco BPM 700 million euros in cash to buy Aletti Gestielle, the two companies said in a joint statement, confirming an earlier Reuters story.

Banco BPM will receive about 250 million euros more based on Aletti Gestielle’s excess capital and earnings at the time of closing, which is expected by the end of the year.

The bank may also transfer other assets under management at its private bank Banca Aletti to Anima for 150 million euros.

The deal follows the creation of Banco BPM from Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare di Milano. Discussions started this year when Banco BPM decided to streamline its asset portfolio and offload Aletti Gestielle, formerly part of Banco Popolare with 18 billion euros of assets under management.

Anima Holding alone had more than 75 billion euros of assets under management at the end of June. Commercial partnerships, including with Banco BPM, allow Anima to sell its products through 4,800 bank branches.

Barclays acted as sole financial adviser to BPM while Mediobanca and Bank of America advised Anima.

Aletti Gestielle drew interest from other domestic and international players including Italy’s Azimut (AZMT.MI).

The deal follows a number of other European asset management mergers. Among them is France’s Amundi (AMUN.PA), which bought rival Pioneer Investments from UniCredit (CRDI.MI) for 3.6 billion euros in December. In Britain, investment managers Standard Life SL.L and Aberdeen Asset Management ADN.L 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.

Banco BPM said it estimated the deal would add 91 basis points to its core capital, also taking into account the possible investment in Anima’s share issue.

Editing by Adrian Croft and David Clarke

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