By Cristina Roca
Banca Carriage S.p.A. traded rapidly after its owner confirmed that it had received more than one initial, non-binding offer for its majority stake in the troubled lender.
At 1104 GMT, shares of Banca Carige were trading up 12% at EUR0.90.
FITD, Italy’s deposit-guarantee fund, said on Thursday it would examine the proposals in depth, and the evaluation would be completed soon, perhaps when its management committee meets on Monday. It did not name the bidders.
BPER Banka Spa last month made a non-binding offer for the carriage. FITD said the terms of the offer were not acceptable, but indicated a willingness to negotiate. The merger between BPER and Carriage would create a major player in Italy’s fragmented banking sector.
According to media reports, Credit Agricole SA has now taken off its hat in the ring as well. The French bank declined to comment on the matter.
FITD said, Carige’s proposals are “subject to, among other things, verification and due diligence activities that contemplate granting exclusive rights.”
Analysts at Equita SIM said in a note that it is not clear whether FITD will grant exclusivity to a bidder once it completes an assessment of the proposals.
FITD bailed out Carige in 2019 and owns 80% of the shares. Expressions of interest in the carriage follows the collapse of negotiations to reprivatize the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena Spa, another struggling bank that had been rescued by the Italian state a few years earlier.
Write to Christina Roca at [email protected]