MILAN (Reuters) – Banco BPM, Italy’s third-largest bank, said on Tuesday it had completed the purchase of French group Covéa’s shares in their insurance joint venture, making it the sole shareholder.
This announcement comes less than a week after that of the entry of Crédit Agricole SA in the capital of Banco BPM up to 9.18%, which makes the French group the largest shareholder of the Italian bank, already considered for a long time as a potential candidate for a combination by takeover or merger.
Crédit Agricole has said it wants to strengthen partnerships between the two groups, which mainly relate to consumer credit.
Banco BPM explains on Tuesday that it exercised its right to buy back 81% of Covéa in their life insurance joint venture Bipiemme Vita, for an amount of around 310 million euros.
In France, Covéa owns the Maaf, MMA and GMF brands, among others.
(Report Andrea Mandala, French version Marc Angrand)