Natixis and La Banque Postale are negotiating a merger of real estate investment managers AEW Europe and Ciloger.

The proposed merger would create a real estate investment manager with combined assets under management of €23bn.

The new group would also become the third-largest manager in the French retail market.

The companies said the combined French platform for the management of real estate funds aimed at retail clients would benefit from investment capacity to serve the entire retail banking and insurance networks of the BPCE Group and La Banque Postale, as well as external clients and independent financial advisers.

For Natixis Global Asset Management, a partnership with La Banque Postale would strengthen AEW Europe and its real assets expertise.

Ciloger’s current owners are La Banque Postale (90%) and CNP Assurances (10%).

AEW Europe’s current owners are Natixis Global Asset Management (60%) and the CDC Group (40%).

The CDC Group’s 40% stake in AEW Europe would be acquired by Natixis Global Asset Management prior to completion of the transaction.

Natixis Global Asset Management is expected to own 60% of AEW Europe, with the remaining 40% to be held by La Banque Postale.

The plan will be presented for discussion to employee representative bodies and is subject to regulatory approval.