New rumors about possible M&A moves by Generali Assicurazioni, Il Leone di Trieste would be evaluating other options overseas alternatives to Guggenheim. According to what reported today by Il Sole 24 Ore, the Trieste insurance group would be interested in buying the US wealth manager Brightsphere, which has a much smaller size than Guggenheim.
Brightsphere has approximately $ 91 billion in assets under management (as of the end of the first half) with profits of $ 29 million. It is a potential alternative to Guggenheim and could be an easier deal to execute with NYSE-listed Brightsphere, which has a market capitalization of $ 657 million (the stock has lost more than 37% in value since the beginning of the year).
“The possible acquisition of Brightsphere, even if consistent with the growth strategy in the US / UK in the Asset Management division as outlined in the plan, would be less transformative than the possible one of Guggenheim, given that it would allow AUM growth of about 17% (compared to over 40% of Guggenheim) ”, comment the analysts of Equita SIM. On the other hand, the commitment on the capital side would be lower (considering the approximately 3 billion Guggenheim potential valuation) and the operation would therefore be disconnected with the‘possible sale of Banca Generali. In this sense, Equita points out that the directing of Generali to a less demanding target would reduce the speculative appeal linked to the possible sale of Banca Generali to finance the M&A activity overseas.
In Piazza Affari the reaction to the new rumor is quite cold with Generali Assicurazioni falling by 1.2%, while Banca Generali marks about -2.7% in the 28 euro area.