France's Amundi SA, Australia-based , U.K.-basedAberdeen Asset ManagementPlc and a consortium led by Poste Italiane SpA reached the second phase ofbidding forUniCredit SpA unitPioneer Global Asset ManagementSpA, Reuters reported Oct. 4, citing "two sources familiarwith the matter."
Amundi and the Poste Italiane consortium submitted thehighest nonbinding offers in September and are seen as the front-runners in thebidding, according to the report. Aberdeen and Macquarie are meanwhileperforming due diligence on Pioneer, the sources said.
Generali, which was among those reportedly interested inPioneer, failed to table a competitive offer because of a lack of shareholdersupport, while Natixis was given an opportunity to improve itsnonbinding offer, which was near UniCredit's expectations but lower than theother four bids.
UniCredit will wait until after the Dec. 4 on Italian Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi's constitutional reform proposal before choosing a buyer forPioneer.