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Pop. Milano Said to Postpone Stock Sale Amid Management Changes

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl may postpone an 800 million-euro ($1.1 billion) stock sale as the lender considers management changes requested by the Bank of Italy, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The bank’s investors on Oct. 22 approved a dual-board structure and named a supervisory panel which is due to name a management committee this week. Terms of the rights offer were slated to be set this week, a schedule that’s unlikely to be achieved, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

The Bank of Italy last week requested that Italy’s oldest cooperative bank name a management board made up exclusively of independent members, scuppering plans by the supervisory board to reappoint Enzo Chiesa, the lender’s current general manager.

A spokeswoman for Popolare Milano declined to comment.

A delay in the rights offer may force the lender to find new underwriters for the sale because the agreement to guarantee the proceeds expires this month. Investment bank Mediobanca SpA was appointed global coordinator for the offer. Mediobanca officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Andrea Bonomi, chairman of Popolare Milano investor Investindustrial SpA, on Oct. 17 said the proposed rights offer is tied to Chiesa and his business plan.

Investindustrial, which owns about 2.7 percent of the bank, has said it’s willing to increase its stake to 9.9 percent. The lender fell 0.7 percent in Milan to 1.63 euros, giving it a market value of 678 million euros.

Italian daily Il Messaggero earlier today reported the possible delay of the share sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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