Monte Paschi Stake in Spoleto Close to Being Sold as Offers Made

Banca Popolare di Spoleto SpA’s main investor is close to selling the stake owned by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA after Italy’s third-biggest bank forced its partner to buy the shares for 73 million euros ($95 million.)

“We have received seven, eight offers to buy the 26 percent stake owned by Monte Paschi that will allow us to meet the terms of the investor agreement,” said Giovannino Antonini, chairman of Spoleto Credito e Servizi Società Cooperativa, the biggest investor in Pop. Spoleto. “We will announce the new partner replacing Monte Paschi by October 15th,” he said in a phone interview today.

Monte Paschi is disposing of its holding in the bank as part of a plan to boost capital by selling non-strategic assets. The Siena, Italy-based bank sent a letter to SCS last month to dissolve their agreement, according to an Aug. 6 statement from Monte Paschi. SCS is required to purchase the stake or identify a buyer for the shares within six months from the date of the accord’s termination, Monte Paschi said in the statement.

SCS is seeking a buyer because the company doesn’t have enough cash to buy it, Antonini said. The company has received offers from a couple of Italian lenders, three French and Swiss investment banks, as well as pension funds and insurers, he said, declining to give more details.

SCS, which owns 51 percent of Popolare di Spoleto, will keep the majority stake, Antonini said. Banca Popolare di Spoleto, which posted a net income of 1.48 million euros in the first half, has a market value of 56 million euros. The stock gained as much as 11 percent in Milan before being halted at 12:17 p.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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