Pioneer Investments, Santander merger called off

UniCredit, parent company of Pioneer Investments, and Banco Santander SA, parent company of Santander Asset Management, terminated their agreement to merge the two money management units, a UniCredit news release said.

The Italian bank said in the face of the “absence of any workable solution” to meet all regulatory requirements to complete the merger, “the parties have concluded that ending the talks was the most appropriate course of action,” the news release said.

The merger of the units, resulting in a money manager retaining the Pioneer Investments name, was first announced in April 2015, the result of a preliminary and exclusive agreement among UniCredit, Banco Santander, and private equity managers Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic.

UniCredit said in the news release that Pioneer “will now be included in the scope of the strategic review to explore the best alternatives for all Pioneer stakeholders including a potential IPO.”

Pioneer Investments had $242 billion in worldwide assets under management as of Dec. 31, according to Pensions & Investments data, and Santander Asset Management has €165 billion ($181 billion) in worldwide AUM, according to its website.

Officials at UniCredit and Santander could not be reached by press time.