Author of the article:

Reuters

Reuters

Benoit Van Overstraeten

PARIS — Societe Generale is in exclusive talks to sell most of asset manager Lyxor to Amundi for 825 million euros ($979 million) and complete the French bank’s corporate restructuring while boosting Amundi’s market share.

SocGen said on Wednesday that the capital gain from the Lyxor sale would be around 430 million euros, adding that the transaction would conclude the “refocusing program” it launched in 2018.

CEO Frederic Oudea is revamping SocGen’s markets business and exiting some areas after losses in structured products wiped out earnings at its equities business in the first half of last year.

SocGen said the sale would cover Lyxor’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other active and alternative management activities for institutional clients in France and abroad, with SocGen retaining some Lyxor operations.

The disposal would have an estimated positive impact of approximately 18 basis points on the group’s core Tier 1 equity ratio, SocGen said, adding that it aims to complete the proposed deal by February 2022.

Reuters reported at the end of March that SocGen was in advanced talks with both France’s Amundi and U.S. company State Street Corp to sell Lyxor..

Amundi, which is a subsidiary of French bank Credit Agricole , said the proposed deal would make it Europe’s leader in ETFs.

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“The acquisition of Lyxor will accelerate the development of Amundi, as it will reinforce our expertise, namely in ETF and alternative asset management,” said Amundi CEO Yves Perrier.

Lyxor, which ranks as Europe’s third-largest ETF provider, had about 82.3 billion euros of assets under management in ETFs in February, representing half of its operations.

SocGen and Amundi shares were up 1.3% and 2.3% respectively in early trade, both outperforming a 0.2% gain for France’s CAC 40 blue-chip index.

Shares in SocGen, which reported a better than expected fourth-quarter profit two months ago, have gained 35% so far this year, against a 19.8% increase for the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index. ($1 = 0.8424 euros) (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Goodman)

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