UBI Banca shareholder group to tender its 8% to Intesa's takeover bid - paper

Credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A UBI Banca shareholder group holding 8% of the Italian bank will tender its shares in the takeover bid launched by Intesa Sanpaolo for its smaller rival, the group's Chairman Franco Polotti told a local newspaper.

Intesa's bid runs until July 28

Polotti expects Intesa would reconsider terms of the offer

Italy's antitrust gave its approval for takeover bid

Adds details

MILAN, July 17 (Reuters) - A UBI Banca UBI.MI shareholder group holding 8% of the Italian bank will tender its shares in the takeover bid launched by Intesa Sanpaolo ISP.MI for its smaller rival, the group's Chairman Franco Polotti told a local newspaper.

Intesa Sanpaolo announced in mid-February an all-paper exchange offer for UBI to create the euro zone's seventh-largest banking group and lift profits through cost cuts, just before the novel coronavirus struck Italy.

Two local shareholder groups have said they are opposed to the offer, so the position of Polotti's Sindacato Azioni UBI Banca would be a boost for Intesa which so far has a take-up of just 3% of UBI's capital.

"We are in favour of taking up the offer", Polotti told Giornale di Brescia. "The world has turned upside down since February ... the coronavirus (emergency) and its economic fallout require us to reconsider (our future prospects)."

It was not immediately possible to contact the Polotti shareholder group for a comment.

UBI's board rejected the offer earlier this month saying it did not reflect the bank's "fundamental value."

After an extended review, on Thursday Italy's antitrust authority cleared the deal, removing the last regulatory hurdle to one of Europe's biggest banking mergers in a decade.

A take-up of 50% of UBI's capital plus one share is necessary for the bid to succeed but acceptance of 66.7% would guarantee Intesa controls extraordinary shareholder resolutions.

"I'm certain Intesa knows very well it must reconsider the terms of the offer to gain a 66.67% majority," Polotti said.

A high take-up would make it easier for Intesa to see through the disposal of 532 branches it promised to gain antitrust approval.

The offer runs until July 28.

(Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; editing by Giselda Vagnoni and Elaine Hardcastle)

((andrea.mandala@thomsonreuters.com; +390266129436;))

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