Crédit Agricole takes over Creval in Italy

Posted on Apr 25, 2021, 12:43 PM

This is the outcome of a case that was not easy for Crédit Agricole. The French bank announced on Friday the success of its offer to 855 million euros for Credito Valtellinese (Creval). This will allow it to strengthen its presence in a banking sector in full consolidation in Italy, its main market after France.

The acquisition of the Lombard bank will indeed allow Crédit Agricole, via its subsidiary in Italy, to double its market share in the most prosperous region of the country at the same time when competition is intensifying. With Creval, Crédit Agricole Italia will control 5% of the Italian market and become the sixth bank in Italy, with two thirds of its branches located in the industrial north of the country.

The French group finally managed to convince Creval and its main shareholders, in particular businessman Denis Dumont and the Alta Global, Hosking Partners and Petrus Advisers funds. But at the cost of several increases in its initial offer.

Increase in initial supply

By offering a total of 12.50 euros per share tendered, i.e. 19% more than its original offer, Crédit Agricole attracted nearly 91% of the shares it did not yet hold and is now assured of controlling 91 , 17% of the capital of Creval. This price nevertheless remains below the range of 12.95 to 22.70 euros considered fair by the Board of Directors of Creval on the basis of the estimates of its advisory banks Mediobanca and BofA Securities. Crédit Agricole Italia expects 130 million euros of synergies per year with this acquisition.

The French group entered the retail banking market in Italy in 2007 with the acquisition of two establishments in the north of the country, to which it added three small banks in difficulty 10 years later, while its management subsidiary Amundi has bought its competitor Pioneer from UniCredit for 3.6 billion euros.

Creval, for its part, has been preparing for a merger since 2018, when it raised 700 million euros from investors, eight times its market capitalization at the time, to clear its balance sheet.

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