June 25, 2020 / 9:12 PM / 16 days ago

Italy's Intesa says regulator approved document for UBI takeover bid

FILE PHOTO: Intesa San Paolo bank headquaters is seen in Turin, Italy, November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

(Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) said on Thursday the acceptance period for its offer to buy rival UBI Banca (UBI.MI) will start on July 6 and end on July 28, after the Italian market regulator Consob approved the publication of the offer document.

The unsolicited, all-paper offer announced by Intesa in February has received green lights from banking and insurance supervisors, while an antitrust review is still active with a verdict expected in July.

Intesa is offering 1.7 new shares for each UBI stock in a bid to create the euro zone’s seventh-largest banking group and drive profits through cost cuts and a focus on insurance and wealth management amid an economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Parvus Asset Management Europe, which holds 8.6% of UBI and is one of the top investors in the bank, had said on Wednesday that it will decide whether to accept Intesa’s takeover offer after publication of the official document on the deal.

Institutional investors such as Parvus could play a role in the fate of Intesa’s bid after the offer met resistance from some local shareholders holding in aggregate just above 20% of UBI.

The offer is valid with a take-up of just 50% plus one share, but the initially targeted 66.7% acceptance threshold would guarantee Intesa control of extraordinary shareholder resolutions, allowing it to incorporate UBI and maximise synergies.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair, Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru and Valentina Za in Milan; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool

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