SocGen in talks over $979 million sale of Lyxor to Amundi

PARIS (Reuters) – French bank Societe Generale is in exclusive talks to sell most of asset manager Lyxor to Amundi for 825 million euros ($979 million), as SocGen continues its corporate restructuring while Amundi seeks to increase its market share.

FILE PHOTO: A Societe Generale sign is seen outside a bank building in Paris, France, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

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 programme” 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.

“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.

Shares of SocGen, which reported a better than expected fourth-quarter profit two months ago, are up 33.1% since the start of the year, against a 19.8% increase for the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index.

($1 = 0.8424 euros)

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