Private equity fund Permira has offered €2.2bn ($2.6bn) to acquire Italian bank Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI) from a group of cooperative banks.
ICBPI, which specializes in payment services, is owned by domestic cooperative banks.
Following a yearlong health check of euro zone lenders by authorities in Europe, which completed in October, it was found that some cooperative banks in Italy had to bolster their capital base.
The necessity to raise fresh capital following banking review in 2014 has prompted the banks to sell ICBPI.
Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter that ICBPI shareholders are likely to make significant capital gains from the sale of the stake as the book value of the shares is lower than what Permira is offering.
In order to select a financial advisor to help manage the sale, the Italian bank’s shareholders are set to meet in Milan.
A consortium of two other international funds has offered €1.9bn for the bank’s acquisition, but Permira’s offer was said to be higher.
The acquisition is awaiting approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Italy.
Image: Permira offers $2.6bn to acquire ICBPI. Photo: courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net