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Amundi agrees to buy Lyxor

Europe's largest asset manager Amundi is set to become the second-biggest provider of exchange-traded products in Europe.

Photo: Colourbox

Amundi agreed to buy Societe Generale's fund management arm Lyxor in an EUR 825m cash deal that would make it the second-biggest provider of exchange-traded products in Europe.

The Paris-based firm has entered into exclusive negotiations with the lender and expects the deal to close by February of next year, according to a statement Wednesday.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Amundi was the leading bidder for Lyxor.

For Chief Executive Officer Yves Perrier, who he is set to step down in May, the acquisition caps more than a decade at the helm during which he used deals to build Amundi into Europe's largest asset manager.

Lyxor is one of Europe's largest providers of exchange-traded funds and would add about EUR 124bn under management, giving Amundi about 14 percent of Europe's ETF market, second only to New York-based Blackrock.

"The acquisition of Lyxor will accelerate the development of Amundi," Perrier said in the statement. "It will reinforce our expertise, namely in ETF and alternative asset management, and allows us to welcome highly recognized teams of people."

Amundi, whose majority shareholder is French lender Credit Agricole SA, had about EUR 1.7tn under management at the end of December. It already has a partnership with Societe Generale, which distributes its investment products through its retail branch network.

For Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea, who's been trying to shore up the bank's capital buffers and boost profitability, the transaction boosts his ability to return capital to shareholders.

The bank said the deal will result in a capital gain, net of taxes, of about EUR 430m. It has vowed to resume payouts even after its worst year in decades.

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