UniCredit has started exclusive talks with French asset manager Amundi for the sale of its asset management unit Pioneer Investments.

The bid by Amundi competed with rival offers from a Poste Italiane-led consortium and Ameriprise Financial.

Amundi could acquire the asset management unit for more than €3bn, according to media reports.

In October 2016, Amundi confirmed its interest in acquiring Pioneer, though it denied the €4bn bid offer for Pioneer as speculated in media reports.

The plan to offload Pioneer comes ahead of UniCredit’s turnaround plan under new CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier. The plan will include divestment of Pioneer, which manages about €225bn in assets, alongside a share rights issue for up to €13bn.

In November 2015, UniCredit and Spanish banking group Santander agreed to merge their asset management divisions- Pioneer Global Asset Management and Santander Asset Management. However, the deal was scrapped in July 2016 due to regulatory problems.

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