Swiss asset manager Gam has issued a statement pouring cold water on a proposed takeover by Italian insurance giant Generali.
Gam has endured a torrid period over the last 14 months, following the dismissal of star manager Tim Haywood and the liquidation of its €9.5bn absolute return bond fund range.
The Zurich-based group racked up a €12.3m loss in H1 and appointed Blackrock veteran Peter Sanderson as CEO following a management shakeup.
Rumours have been swirling of a potential takeover, with US fund giants Columbia Threadneedle and Legg Mason, as well as Schroders and financier George Soros all reportedly circling various parts of the business.
In July, Gam agreed to sell its precious metals and money market funds to Swiss cantonal bank ZKB.
On Wednesday Gam issued a statement to quell further speculation. “Gam can confirm that there are no discussions with Generali, or any other company, concerning M&A activity,” the group said.
Generali is in the middle of an ambitious three-year growth plan to develop its European business, including its asset management operation. The group has set aside €3bn-€4bn to invest in growth, either organically or via acquisition.
This year the Generali acquired a majority stake in French sustainability specialist Sycomore Factory and last year the Italian group acquired London-headquartered CM Investment Solutions, a provider of alternative Ucits strategies, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
“As previously stated, [Gam’s] board will always assess options to maximise value for shareholders and other stakeholders,” Gam’s statement added.
“With the appointment last month of Peter Sanderson as CEO, Gam is focused on simplifying the business and improving profitability.”