Mediobanca to Reduce Fondiaria-SAI Stake to 2%

February 4, 2003

The Italian investment bank Mediobanca has agreed to part with around 11.5 million shares in the recently merged insurance group Fondiaria-SAI, around 9 percent of the company’s outstanding capital.

The move will reduce the powerful bank’s holding to around two percent, bringing it in line with a ruling by Consob, the Italian stock market regulatory body, that ordered it to reduce its holdings, along with those of the group’s largest shareholder Primafin by at least 9.9 percent, as a condition for final approval of the merger.

Primafin has already said it would reduce its 40.9 percent stake in the group by around 4 percent.

According to a report from Reuters, Mediobanca’s divestment will be in the form of a five-year equity total return swap with counterparties, which will effectively divest it of the shares and the rights to control them, but would leave the bank exposed to Fondiaria-SAI’s stock market performance.

Both companies have reportedly appealed another Consob ruling related to the merger that froze 2 percent of Mediobanca’s 13.6 percent stake in Generali, Italy’s largest insurer, and all of Primafin’s 2.4 percent stake.

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