Aberdeen Asset Management dropped a bid for Italian bank UniCredit’s Pioneer fund unit because the UK-listed firm could not afford the €3.5bn (£3bn) asking price.
The fund manager made it through to the second round of bidding before withdrawing, chief executive Martin Gilbert revealed.
“We couldn’t quite afford the €3.5bn that it’s going to go for,” Gilbert told Bloomberg. “I wish we could find something, but there’s nothing at the moment.”
Other bidders for Pioneer, which manages funds totalling €220bn, have been reported as France’s Amundi, Australian investment bank Macquarie, Ameriprise Financial and a group including Poste Italiane, Anima Holding and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Gilbert also told Bloomberg: “I keep encouraging banks to sell their asset-management subsidiaries to us and we’ve bought a lot.”