Monte Paschi's top shareholder nears deal to sell its 20pct stake as shareholder meeting looms

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 23, 2013 06:37 AM EST

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena's top shareholder is reportedly close to selling a 20% stake in the troubled lender to three other banking foundations and a group of investment funds.

Reuters, citing a report by Italian daily La Repubblica, said that the move could resolve a dispute between Fondazione Monte dei Paschi and the Tuscan bank ahead of a December 27 shareholder meeting.

The said shareholder meeting is due to decide on the timing for an obligatory €3 billion ($4.1 billion) share issue. Fondazione Monte dei Paschi owns a 33.5% stake in Monte dei Paschi, the report said. 

According to La Reppublica, the Italian foundation will meet later on Monday to give the green light to the sale of a big chunk of Monte dei Paschi's holding at a price of €0.14 per share.

Monte dei Paschi is planning to launch the rights issue in January. It is part of a restructuring demanded by the European Commission in return for approving the €4.1 billion state bailout of the bank earlier this year, the report said. 

Fondazione Monte dei Paschi had asked to delay the capital hike until May 2014. It has threatened to scupper the plan by voting against it at a shareholder meeting, Reuters said.  

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