Liverpool Limited, a Bermuda-based investment partnership, which holds a one percent stake in Italian insurer La Fondiaria, confirmed reports (See IJ Website May 22) it would appeal a decision by Consob, the Italian stock market regulator, permitting a merger bid that does not include minority shareholders.
The original bid by SAI, another Italian insurer and Mediobanca was blocked by Consob, as they controlled more than 30 percent of La Fondiaria’s shares, and therefore had to make an offer to all shareholders. As previously explained, SAI then transferred its option to purchase shares, and its actual holdings, around 29 percent to an investment group led by J.P. Morgan Chase.
Consob’s ruling, which Liverpool has indicated it will challenge in a regional Italian court, determined the two groups were not acting in concert in the effort to take over la Fondiaria.
According to a report from Dow Jones Newswire Liverpool is contending that Mediobanca and SAI are continuing to act in concert, as they essentially control the company through their own holdings, and those of the Morgan Group.
Liverpool is also asking the regional court to rule by May 30, the date set for la Fondiaria’s annual shareholders’ meeting, whether the voting rights of the Morgan Group are in fact held for the benefit of SAI.
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