ITALY - Real estate investment management company Fimit, which is partly owned by Italian pension funds, is planning to merge with real estate arm of Pirelli.

Fimit and Pirelli RE have agreed to conduct a feasibility study into the pooling of their assets "in the coming weeks" with the intention of creating a new real estate investment management entity.

Fimit is 30.72% owned by the National Insurance Institute for Employees of the Public Administration (INPDAP), which represents a number of pension schemes managed by the Italian treasury.

A further 19% stake in Fimit is owned by the National Insurance Institute for Workers in the Entertainment Business.

Inarcassa, the social assistance scheme for engineers and architects in Italy, also holds a 5% interest and Italian foundation Enasarco owns a further 10%.

Analysts have speculated that the potential merger will allow tyre manufacture Pirelli to sell its real estate asset management arm and concentrate on its core business.

Others have suggested that a merger will create an investment management business big enough to compete in the pan-European fund management market.

The feasibility project will focus on "potential operating synergies that could derive from the transaction, its structure and the criteria for valuation of respective assets", according to Fimit.