Crédit Agricole acquires three banks in Italy

After six months of negotiations, the Agricultural Credit has achieved its purpose : the green Bank announced Friday it has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of more than 95% of the capital of three savings banks from the Italian, those of Cesena and Rimini (Banca Carim), in Emilia-Romagna, and San Miniato (Carismi), near Pisa, in Tuscany. It is the company’s local subsidiary Cariparma, in the prosperous regions of the north and in the Lazio and Campania, which will proceed with the acquisition for an amount of € 130 million.

The French banking group, which already generates 18% of its net banking income in Italy, will strengthen its presence in the peninsula. It is expected to strengthen to up to 20% about its customer base.

Prior to the completion of the transaction, the Italian State, through the Fund interbank deposit guarantee, will strengthen the equity of both banks, “so as to align their ratio [solvency] common equity tier 1 criteria, the Crédit Agricole group” and clean up their balance sheet, impaired loans “non-performing” :

“Portfolios of bad debts, totaling approximately € 3 billion of gross value will be securitized with the support of the fund Atlante II or sold to private investors,” said Credit Agricole in a press release.

Bailed out before being sold

The French bank had reiterated in early August his interest in the three banks with the authorities, but she heard heard the to recover without their bad debts. The fund interbank Italian could inject 470 million euros through the subscription of capital increases, according to Reuters.

“The terms of the contract will thus allow them to both to all three banks have a strong financial structure, a necessary condition so that they can again play their role of supporting the development of their respective territories, Crédit Agricole Cariparma to contribute to the strengthening of the Italian banking system and conduct an operation to create value over the long term, in strict compliance with its financial criteria for investment”, welcomed the French group.

A few months ago, its subsidiary in asset management, Amundi, the european leader, had purchased the Italian Pioneer UniCredit for of 3.54 billion euros.

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