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Intesa’s Midnight Raid on UBI May Spur Italian Bank Mergers

  • CEO Messina’s $5.3 billion bid took smaller rival by surprise
  • Takeover plan said to have drawn positive feedback from ECB
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WATCH: Intesa launched one of the biggest European banking deals since the financial crisis.Source: Bloomberg
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Intesa Sanpaolo SpA made an unsolicited 4.9 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) offer for its smaller rival Unione di Banche Italiane SpA in a midnight raid that’s likely to trigger further consolidation among Italy’s struggling banks.

Intesa Chief Executive Officer Carlo Messina, pouncing before the government could strongarm banks into unwanted combinations, launched an all-stock bid at a premium of more than 28% to UBI’s price Monday. Shares of the target institution soared, leading a rally in Italian financial stocks.