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MILAN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Italy’s Poste on Thursday signed an agreement with Anima aimed at further developing the postal operator’s asset management activities and extending the two groups’ partnership in the business.
With mail delivery services declining, the post office group, controlled by the Rome government, is investing more in financial businesses, a strategy which will be key in a business plan which will be unveiled at the beginning of next year.
The company last year got more than 70 percent of its revenue from its insurance and asset-management division and its banking unit accounted for 16 percent of total sales.
Poste and Anima said they would partially spin off the portfolio management linked to life insurance products belonging to the insurance unit of Poste in favour of Anima, in a joint statement.
In exchange, Poste will receive newly issued shares of Anima, which will be simultaneously bought back by Anima’s holding company, for a total consideration of 120 million euros ($142 million), the statement said, adding that Anima would finance the amount by issuing debt.
Poste Italiane will maintain full ownership of unit BancoPosta Fondi, the branch under which the group intends to manage and hold its financial investments and asset management products.
The agreement is not the first between the two groups, which already have a partnership to develop investment products for Italian savers.
Poste holds a 10.3 percent stake in Anima.
The accord “will contribute to a robust development of Poste’s asset management business ... With Anima we enhance the product range offered throughout our post offices to satisfy Italian savers’ needs,” Poste Chief Executive Matteo Del Fante said in the statement. ($1 = 0.8427 euro) (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by G Crosse and James Dalgleish)