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Intesa raises offer for UBI by adding 652m euros in cash


INTESA Sanpaolo SpA sweetened its takeover offer for UBI Banca by adding 652 million euros (S$1.04 billion) in cash as it tries to win approval of Italian investors hit by the pandemic.

The Italian bank will pay an additional 57 euro cents for each UBI share tendered in the offer in addition to the share swap it announced in February, Intesa said in a statement late on Friday.

The decision was made "to take into consideration the difficult situation of the territories with a concentration of retail shareholders and other stakeholders of UBI Banca who have been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic", the bank said.

The move is a reversal of Intesa's earlier refusal to change the terms of its bid, first revealed in February. UBI's board cited the lack of a cash component as one of the reasons why it considered the offer inadequate.

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Earlier on Friday, two groups of local investors representing more than 13 per cent of the shares announced that they accepted the offer and were confident that Intesa will improve the terms.

Intesa announced an unsolicited takeover bid in February, offering 17 new shares for every 10 they hold in UBI, a 28 per cent premium to the stock's value at the time. The new offer increases that premium to 45 per cent.

UBI's board rejected the offer earlier this month, saying it doesn't reflect the bank's value and poses risks to its investors. The offer period runs from July 6 to July 28.

Intesa has said previously that it has no plan to change the terms of the offer and it is willing to proceed with acceptances of 50 per cent plus one share. UBI said on Friday that acceptances of less than about 67 per cent would make it difficult for the bank to sell more than 500 UBI branches as part of the deal. BLOOMBERG

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