Milan – We are moving towards a two-way match between Bper and Crédit Agricole to acquire the 88% stake in Carige, held by the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund (80%) and by Ccb (8%).
In these hours Bper has “softened” the offer presented last December 14 and tomorrow the update will arrive on the table of the Fitd. The Modenese group led by Piero Montani met the board of directors to finalize a new version of the proposal to Fitd. The non-binding offer presented last month, set aside by the fund chaired by Salvatore Maccarone due to statutory incompatibility, provided for the symbolic price of one euro, after recapitalization for one billion of Carige, and the subsequent takeover bid at 0.80 euro for the share of minority. In the new version, the bank would have filed the burden on the Fitd to approximately 600-700 million and this would allow it to go head to head with the Crédit Agricole offer.
Convincing Bper’s management to update the offer would basically be the idea of playing a central role in creating a third banking hub, but also the extension to June 30 of the tax benefits for mergers, decided in maneuver at the end of the year. Carige and Bper will in fact be able to convert 380 million Dta (deferred tax assets) into tax credits, with a net benefit calculated by Equita analysts at 320 million. Furthermore, the restructuring costs, which had been estimated by Bper on the basis of Carige’s situation at 30 September, could be slightly lower in relation to the progress made by the bank in the quarter just ended.
Some analysts had already taken into account Bper’s move and therefore the decisions of the last few hours should not take the market too much by surprise. Friday instead, the Carige share recorded a jump of 10.8% to € 0.88, well beyond the € 0.80 promised by Bper. The market already bet on a retouching of offers before the weekend. With the opening of tomorrow’s markets, investors’ mood on the latest moves will be known.
From the Crédit Agricole side, the strictest confidentiality is maintained both on the contents of the offer and on any subsequent moves. It would play the role of outsider Cerberus, with observers pointing out that the fund cannot benefit from tax benefits and is not appreciated by the unions as regards the issue of any redundancies. On the latter issue, the general secretary of Fabi, Lando Maria Sileoni, has already anticipated that the union is ready to “mobilize” if there are “decisions and choices that penalize bank staff”. The word now passes to the Fitd which meets the Management Committee tomorrow afternoon. Intermonte analysts, in a report released in recent days, highlighted how “one of the determining factors” for the choice of partner “will be the request for recapitalization” to the Fund, where especially small banks do not want to bleed out.
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