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HomeBank CapitalUPDATE 2-Creval says higher price in Credit Agricole's buyout offer still

UPDATE 2-Creval says higher price in Credit Agricole’s buyout offer still

* Bid ends April 21, take-up at 17% of capital

* CAI upped price to 12.2 euros from 10.5 euros

* To pay additional 0.30 euros if threshold met

* Creval shareholders vote to keep CEO Lovaglio (Adds details, Creval shares; unifies stories)

MILAN, April 19 (Reuters) – Creval on Monday said the higher takeover price offered by Credit Agricole to buy the Italian lender was still inadequate, in a blow to the French group’s plan to expand in its biggest market outside France.

Seeking to boost very low take-up, last week Credit Agricole Italia (CAI) raised its bid price to 12.20 euros for each Creval share up from 10.50 euros.

The Italian arm of France’s No.2 bank plans to further hike the price to 12.50 euros if shares corresponding to more than 90% of the bank’s capital are tendered, valuing Creval at 877 million euros Creval’s advisers have said a fair price would be between 12.95 and 22.7 euros.

Creval, which rejected the initial price as too low, said its board welcomed CAI’s decision but added that 12.20 euros a share still did not “adequately reflect the bank’s value.”

Creval said the additional 0.30 euros per share CAI could be prepared to pay, while bringing the level closer to the bottom of the price range deemed fair by Creval’s financial advisers, was conditional on “a very high” threshold. This makes it difficult for investors to asses the structure of the bid.

Mediobanca, BofA Securities and Intermonte are acting as Creval’s financial advisers. Cappelli RCCD is the bank’s legal adviser.

Shares in Creval closed up 0.25% at 12.23 euros.

The bid runs until Wednesday and Credit Agricole Italia is targeting 66.67% acceptance to ensure it controls extraordinary and shareholder resolutions. However it reserves the right to accept 50% plus one share.

As of Monday investors tendered 17% of shares.

Creval investors on Monday appointed a new board, keeping CEO Luigi Lovaglio in the job and rejecting a proposal by CAI to delay the move pending the outcome of the takeover bid. (Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; editing by Valentina Za and Cynthia Osteramn)

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