Italy's Intesa says UBI has tried to achieve success with an prolonged deadline

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo in Milan


By Valentina Za

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy Intesa Sanpaolo (MI 🙂 said it expects its takeover bid for rival UBI Banca (MI 🙂 to be completely successful as the market regulator Consob extended it by two days to give shareholders more time to make an informed decision.

Intesa and UBI have faced each other with an unsolicited paper and cash supply of 4.1 billion euros ($ 4.8 billion) since mid-February to create the seventh largest banking group in the eurozone.

The offer was scheduled to end on Tuesday, but Consob said it had extended it until Thursday to protect shareholders after UBI asked for clarification of communications related to the offer that UBI made available on Monday.

So far, Intesa has secured 43.5% of the UBI.

"Based on past acceptance … and taking into account the opinions of UBI shareholders, Intesa believes the offer is intended to be a complete success," said a spokesman for the second-largest Italian bank in a note.

UBI declined to comment.

The offer is valid with a take-up of 50% of the UBI capital plus one share. Intesa is aiming for an acceptance of 66.67% to ensure that exceptional shareholder resolutions are controlled to absorb UBI and maximize the projected savings.

A high level of acceptance would also make it easier for Intesa to comply with an antitrust obligation to sell 532 branches of the combined group, mainly UBIs.

One person in the offer's warehouse said institutional investors who always wait until the last day to offer their shares would significantly increase acceptance.

The person said the acquisition has so far consisted mainly of local investors, many of whom originally rejected the offer but accepted it after Intesa raised the premium from 24% to 40% this month from UBI closing on the day the announcement was made Business had raised.

Intesa excluded further changes to the terms of the offer after the extension.

UBI has declined the sweetened offer and says it still doesn't reflect the value of the bank.

However, Intesa believes that acceptance could exceed 80% at best, according to two sources in Intesa's warehouse.

Two of UBI's largest single investors, who hold a total of around 17% of the bank – the British funds Silchester International Investors and Parvus Asset Management Europe – have not announced their position on the offering.

Even without their support, holdout investors are not expected to make up more than 30% of UBI's capital, the two sources say, which Intesa is likely to hand over to the majority needed to control extraordinary general meetings.

UBI shares closed 8.8% on Monday after a deadline passed on Friday for investors to buy and trade shares on the market.

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