The deal would have seen Pioneer pooled with the asset management arm of Banco Santander of Spain, with UniCredit and Santander becoming joint owners alongside private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic.
The fund manager will now be formally included in a wide-ranging strategic review of UniCredit’s business, initiated by new chief executive Jean-Pierre Mustier.
In a statement to the market, the Italian bank said: “Further to UniCredit’s announcement on 11 July 2016 of a group-wide strategic review, the results of which will be communicated to the market before the end of 2016, Pioneer will now be included in the scope of the strategic review to explore the best alternatives for all Pioneer stakeholders including a potential IPO.”
The statement also said: “The parties held detailed discussions to identify viable solutions to meet all regulatory requirements to complete the transaction, but in the absence of any workable solution within a reasonable time horizon, the parties have concluded that ending the talks was the most appropriate course of action.”
A spokesman for Pioneer Investments said that as far as his firm was concerned, it was “business as usual”.
He said a small group of executives from the fund manager had been doing some preparatory work for a merger with a small group of executives from Santander Asset Management, but that “99%” of the company’s staff had been focused on their day jobs throughout the deal talks. Pioneer had delivered record net sales and a record level of assets under management in 2015, he added.