the [FR:FR0000045072:0]Agricultural credit[:FR] would not seek to take control of Banco BPM. On the other hand, he would like to recover the insurance activities of the third Italian bank, of which he recently acquired 9.18% of the round. According to ‘Bloomberg’ sources, the financial institution would be ready to compete [FR:FR0000120628:0]Axa[:FR] and other potential suitors to take a majority stake in this business, once the Italian lender gets its hands on several local insurance companies whose ownership it shares with partners.
While Crédit Agricole would like to initiate exclusive discussions on BPM’s insurance activities, valued at around 1.5 billion euros, the transalpine group is likely to start a formal process also involving other interested players, have clarified the sources of the agency. Bilateral talks between Crédit Agricole and Banco BPM would indeed raise regulatory questions about transactions “with related parties”.
The green bank is said to have had informal contacts with Banco BPM earlier this year over the division in question and the announcement of a stake in the Milan-based firm is primarily intended to discourage its rivals from seeking to go further, according to the agency. Earlier this week, ‘Bloomberg’ claimed that Axa was in preliminary discussions with the Italian group with a view to acquiring a majority stake in its insurance business. A Franco-French battle could well take place on the other side of the Alps.