SocGen, Agricole deal on Newedge, Amundi seen in weeks: paper

PARIS Mon Sep 9, 2013 5:40am EDT

The logo of French bank Societe Generale is seen on a building in the financial district of La Defense near Paris August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The logo of French bank Societe Generale is seen on a building in the financial district of La Defense near Paris August 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) is likely to reach a deal within weeks to buy Credit Agricole's (CAGR.PA) stake in their brokerage venture Newedge, French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported.

The agreement would also see SocGen cut its 25 percent stake in Amundi, its fund management business owned jointly with Credit Agricole, to around 15 percent, the paper said, without citing sources.

Reuters had reported in June that Credit Agricole was in talks to sell its Newedge stake to SocGen.

SocGen had earlier tried to exit the derivatives-focused broker but a lack of buyers pushed it to look instead for ways to better integrate the unit, sources familiar with the matter said.

A French banking source said on Monday that the deal was likely to go ahead soon and would involve a sale of Amundi shares.

Using a share-exchange structure would allow the two banks to preserve their cash and narrow their focus on businesses they are keen to develop.

SocGen may look to exit Amundi completely over the next two years, Le Journal du Dimanche said.

A SocGen spokeswoman declined to comment. A Credit Agricole spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

(This story corrects second paragraph to show SocGen, not Credit Agricole, holds 25 percent of Amundi)

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt and Pascale Denis; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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