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MILAN, March 10 (Reuters) - Troubled Italian lender Veneto Banca said on Friday it would give shareholders an extra week to accept a settlement offer aimed at removing the risk of lawsuits.
Shareholders in Veneto Banca and fellow Popolare di Vicenza saw their savings wiped out when the two lenders were rescued last year by state-sponsored, privately-funded bailout fund Atlante.
The two banks are now offering to repay 169,000 shareholders who bought stock in the last 10 years around 15 percent of investment losses if they agree not to pursue legal action.
Veneto Banca moved the offer's deadline to March 22 from March 15.
Reducing legal risks is a necessary condition for a state bailout of the two banks Italy is discussing with European authorities, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.
Veneto Banca said take-up of the offer stood at 42 percent of shares targeted by it. The banks aim to reach an 80 percent acceptance threshold. (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Francesca Landini)