UniCredit focused on “internal delivery”, open to M&A in all its markets

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ROME, Sept 21 (Reuters) – UniCredit (CRDI.MI) is focused on delivering on the targets set out in its business plan, but remains ready to seize M&A opportunities in all markets where it operates , CEO Andrea Orcel said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event in Rome, Orcel sought to clarify comments that appeared in German newspaper Handelsblatt on Tuesday regarding UniCredit’s market share growth in Germany, including through mergers and acquisitions. Read more

Orcel said it had not deviated from its standard message that mergers and acquisitions can provide a means to accelerate growth in all markets where UniCredit operates if opportunities arise “on the right terms”.

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Orcel has previously said it would consider deals that would strengthen UniCredit’s franchise, increase returns for investors without jeopardizing the bank’s compensation targets.

“We’re much more focused on internal delivery,” he said.

“When I took on this job, UniCredit’s stance was ‘no M&A’ as I said that under the right conditions, M&A can be an accelerator. This, added to the fact that I have done my fair share of M&A deals in the past, made everyone think we would do business, that a financial tsunami was on the cards.”

Orcel, one of Europe’s most experienced investment bankers, joined UniCredit in April last year after two decades at Merrill Lynch Bank of America which he left in 2012 to lead the banking arm of UBS investment.

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; written by Valentina Za; edited by Keith Weir

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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