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

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UniCredit is focused on delivering targets set under its business plan, though it remains ready to seize M&A opportunities in all the markets where it operates, CEO Andrea Orcel said on Wednesday.

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

Orcel said he had not deviated from his standard message that M&A can provide a way to accelerate growth in all the markets where UniCredit is present if opportunities arise “at the right conditions.”

Orcel has previously said he would consider deals that strengthened UniCredit’s franchise, increased returns for investors without endangering the bank’s remuneration goals.

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

“When I took this job, UniCredit’s stance was ‘no M&A’ while I said that at the right conditions M&A can be an accelerator. This, together with the fact that I’ve done my fair share of M&A deals in the past, made everyone think we would do deals, 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 head the investment banking arm of UBS.