MILAN, March 20 (Reuters) - Italian private equity fund Equinox has presented on Tuesday a formal offer to buy a stake of just below 10 percent in Italy's No.3 lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena from the foundation that controls it, a source close to the matter said.
"Equinox has presented its offer to buy a stake of just below 10 percent just before the deadline of 5pm (Italian time)," a source close to the situation said.
The Monte dei Paschi foundation, which has a 49 percent stake in the eponymous lender, is selling the stake to help reimburse 1.1. billion euros of debts.
A source told Reuters earlier this month that the foundation, which sold last week 2.52 percent of Monte Paschi through block trades, aimed at selling a further 9.5-10.5 percent stake by the end of March. (Reporting by Massimo Gaia)