The fund that owns ailing Italian lender Carige approved the sale of its stake to BPER Banca. This was stated in a deal that will end a seven-year crisis at the regional lender. BPER is Italy’s fifth-largest bank.
Over the last month, they entered exclusive talks over Carige with Italy’s FITD depositor protection fund. And, they own 80% of the bank since a 2019 rescue financed by the industry. After roughly halving its initial capital injection request, BPER said that it would take on Carige at a token 1 euro price provided FITD pumps 530 million euros into the Genoa-based lender. And that is to cover restructuring and clean-up costs.
BPER is being advised by Mediobanca and Rothschild. They will then buy out remaining investors in Carige at 0.80 euro a share. Together with bigger rival Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Carige was one the main banking headaches, that stops Italy from completing a restructuring, that started in 2015. And, that has cost healthy lenders, which is more than 10 billion euros in rescue aid. In 2019 Italian banks spent 600 million euros. This was to salvage Carige through FITD. The Carige deal propels BPER forward on the expansion path.
Pushed by UnipolSAI to facilitate Intesa Sanpaolo’s takeover of mid-tier peer UBI, BPER last year boosted its assets by 40%. Carige will further lift BPER’s assets to about 155 billion euros. This is by making it Italy’s No.4 bank and a more direct competitor to Banco BPM.