EUROPE - Credit Agricole has bought a 65% stake in Italy's Nextra Investment Management, the fund management arm of Banca Intesa, making it Europe's fourth largest asset management firm.
Under the deal, Credit Agricole Asset Management (CAAM) will take a 65% stake in the merger between Banca Intesa’s asset management subsidiary Nextra Investment Management sgr and CAAM’s Italian subsidiary CAAM sgr. The transaction will put Nextra’s value at e1.34bn and will give the merged entity assets under management of almost e110bn.
“This deal will make Credit Agricole one of Europe’s five largest asset management firms - with the CAAM group having more than e430bn of assets under management - and the only player with leading positions in two European countries (France and Italy),” Nextra and CAAM said in a joint statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, which involve a cash payment and transfer of CAAM sgr in Italy to Nextra, Banca Intesa has committed to maintaining a 35% interest in the merged entity for a period of 12 years.
The transaction also provides for the signature of a long-term distribution agreement between the new entity and Banca Intesa’s banking networks in Italy, and the 12-year agreement permits the networks to offer customers products from third party asset managers.
The deal means CAAM will have almost a third of its assets under management outside France. Credit Agricole S.A will offer Banca Intesa the opportunity to own a direct stake in CAAM.
In a statement, the firms said there would be a governance agreement binding on CAAM and Banca Intesa regarding their stakes in the merged firm for the same period.
The transaction is likely to be completed in the second half of 2005, and remains subject to regulatory approval.
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