Mediobanca reaches for low-hanging wealth fruit

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The Mediobanca logo is pictured in Milan, Italy, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

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MILAN, July 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) is hoping to manage more wealthy Italians’ money. The Milanese investment bank, whose biggest shareholders include tycoons Leonardo Del Vecchio and Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone read more , is a frontrunner to acquire Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) network of financial advisers in Italy, La Repubblica reported on Saturday. The business serves customers with some 17 billion euros of assets and makes about 25 million euros a year in net profit. At a mooted price of between 300 million euros and 350 million euros, Mediobanca’s offer would value it at around 13 times earnings. That’s about where 4 billion euro wealth manager Banca Generali (BGN.MI) trades, and is well below the valuation of 9 billion euro Fineco (FBK.MI).

A deal would fit Chief Executive Alberto Nagel’s ambition of bulking up Mediobanca’s wealth management division. Taking over Deutsche’s clients would boost the group’s assets under management by nearly 40% without denting its capital base. Yet it would still leave Nagel some way short of his ambitions. He’ll need to grab more fruit. (By Lisa Jucca)

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Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Oliver Taslic

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