Unipol gives the green light to banking risks. While all the eyes of the market were on Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the insurance company granted a mandate to Mediobanca and Equita to buy 10.2% of Popolare di Sondrio. Unipol’s stake could thus rise to 19.7% of Valtellina Bank, starting the process of approaching Bper Banca, the institution in which Unipol also has a 19.9% shareholder.
An offer of €5.1 per share
Thus, as markets closed, Unipol announced its intention to purchase 46.3 million common shares in Banca Popolare di Sondrio through an accelerated reverse book-building procedure that will begin immediately. The offered price will not exceed 5.10 euros, a premium of approximately 4.1% compared to today’s closing for Valtellina Institute shares. Although the purchase of 10.2% of the capital is a binding condition for the success of the transaction, Unipol has reserved the right to accept offers for a lower total number of shares. On the occasion of similar operations, Unipol was satisfied with a lower share than that announced in the offer, but later raised its share through market purchases.
Moreover, the clear target is to reach 20%, according to the license granted by the European Central Bank. The memorandum explains that the increased stake in Popolare di Sondrio will allow Unipol to strengthen the industrial and institutional partnership with the institution in the life and non-life bancassurance sector, to further stabilize its shareholding structure and stimulate its development. “In accordance with market best practices.” But it is inevitable that the market is already betting on the future combination of Bper and Popolare Sondrio, capable of forming and strengthening the third banking center in Italy.
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