By Pietro Lombardi


Intesa Sanpaolo SpA has secured strong support for its takeover bid for smaller rival Unione di Banche Italiane SpA, a move that paves the way for the creation of Italy's largest bank and may kick off a long-awaited phase of consolidation in the continent.

More than nine out of 10 UBI shares, or 90.2%, were tendered, well above the 66.7% threshold Intesa was seeking to smoothly execute the merger.

Intesa sweetened its offer earlier in July, adding a cash component to its previous all-stock bid. UBI shareholders were thus offered 57 European cents ($0.67) in cash and 1.7 Intesa shares for each share they tendered.

Based on the value of the shares in February, before the takeover bid was announced, the offer values UBI shares at EUR4.8 each, with a premium of almost 45% on its share price on Feb. 14, Intesa said when presenting the new offer.

The deal will create a leading European player and strengthen the financial system in Italy, Intesa Chief Executive Carlo Messina said.

The board of the target lender had rejected the deal, even after the offer was improved, as it believed it didn't reflect the value of the bank.

Intesa launched its takeover bid for UBI in February.

The data Intesa released late Thursday are preliminary, with the final results to be published on Aug. 4.


Write to Pietro Lombardi at; @pietrolombard10


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 31, 2020 02:58 ET (06:58 GMT)

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