Carige: Italian banks withhold BPER’s offer to the detriment of Crédit Agricole

Posted on Jan 10, 2022, 8:23 PM

The main shareholder of the troubled Italian bank Carige announced on Monday that it had accepted the takeover proposal from its counterpart BPER Banca with a view to opening exclusive negotiations, thus inflicting a setback on Crédit Agricole, also in the running.

The Interbank Deposit Protection Fund (FITD), which owns 80% of Carige after having bailed it out in 2019, said in a press release that it had “decided to grant BPER Banca an exclusive period of four weeks” for the negotiation of a contract for the acquisition of the bank.

According to the Roman daily “Il Messaggero”, the French bank had offered to buy Carige for symbolic 1 euro and requested a prior capital increase of 700 million euros to be carried out by the fund controlled by Italian banks.

Opportunistic Credit Agricole

In the home stretch, the gap between the offer of the French bank and the Italian bank BPER has narrowed. The mentioned figure of 300 million euros of recapitalization decreased and was no longer relevant.

“It was not sufficient to make it possible to influence in any case a choice guided by national preference in favor of a transalpine player. Buyouts by French groups of Italian players remain sensitive, ”said one actor.

“Crédit Agricole positioned itself on Carige quite opportunistically after the acquisition of Creval. The bank aimed to protect and strengthen its market share in the face of competition. The quality of the clientele, especially SMEs, was attractive. But it was not a ‘must have’, says a connoisseur of the dossier. If they do not make this acquisition, they will study others on three conditions: if this buyback allows them to gain market share, if the quality of the assets is real and the price attractive ”.

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