The general annual meeting of the shareholders of Italian insurer La Fondiaria, postponed from May 9, is scheduled to take place today and Italian regulators appear to have cleared the way for the approval of Italian insurer SAI’s long delayed merger plans.
In the most recent development, Consob, the Italian stock market regulator, refused to reconsider or amend its previous ruling that a group headed by J.P. Morgan Chase was entitled to vote their 29 percent stake independently (See IJ Website May 20).
Consob’s ruling, that the Morgan Group shouldn’t be considered as acting in concert with SAI, and its main shareholder, Italian financial conglomerate Mediobanca, opened the distinct possibility that a new slate of managers and directors could be elected by the shareholders at today’s meeting who will favor the alliance with SAI, which would create Italy’s second largest insurer after Generali.
The only remaining obstacle appears to be the court challenge launched by Liverpool LLP, a Bermuda-based investment trust which owns a one percent stake in la Fondiaria (See IJ Website May 23). It doesn’t appear likely that the Italian court will rule on the appeal until after the meeting has been held.
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