Anima Holding could spend up to 400 mln euros to buy smaller European rival: CEO

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian asset manager Anima Holding (ANIM.MI) could spend up to 400 million euros ($433 million) to buy a smaller rival abroad and expand in Europe, newly-appointed Chief Executive Alessandro Melzi D’Eril said on Thursday.

“We are looking at asset managers in the UK, France, Netherlands and Belgium,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Europe’s biggest asset manager Amundi (AMUN.PA) has recently denied press rumours it was interested in taking over Anima, which is Italy’s largest independent asset manager, with 176 billion euros under management.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if other players were interested in buying us because the stock is not correctly priced,” Melzi D’Eril said.

Anima manages around 100 billion euros in Italian government bonds.

“One of the biggest problems with our stock is that it is perceived as very Italian and with strong ties to Italian banks,” he added.

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