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Intesa, UniCredit Deny Merger Plan, Sole Says, Citing Cucchiani

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Intesa Sanpaolo SpA Chief Executive Officer Enrico Cucchiani and UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni denied any plan to combine Italy’s two biggest banks, Il Sole 24 Ore reported today, citing the two executives.

Press reports about such a merger are “much ado about nothing,” Cucchiani said, according to Il Sole. Ghizzoni said: “Please, let’s talk about serious and real things,” Il Sole reported.

Il Messaggero said Claudio Costamagna, a former Goldman Sachs Group banker, met with Ghizzoni in recent days to propose the “idea” of a combination between the two lenders. Costamagna was probably backed by Intesa’s Chairman Giovanni Bazoli, Messaggero said, citing an unnamed adviser for UniCredit. Ghizzoni wasn’t interested in a deal and didn’t want to start any discussion, Messaggero said.

A UniCredit official said yesterday the reports of a merger between the two banks are fiction.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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