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Vicenza and Veneto banks looking at merger, urged by rescue fund Atlante

by Luca Davi

Two months to prepare two converging and synergic industrial plans. The goal is to consider the approval of a merger which, barring insurmountable hurdles, could be launched in the second quarter of 2017.

According to sources close to the matter, this is the roadmap approved by Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca yesterday after a meeting of the top managers last night in Milan.

The tie-up is seen favorably also by the Atlante Fund which owns both banks, and, in a letter to the boards of the two banks, asked them to come up with a plan outlining “a merger scenario” looking at “synergies compared to a stand-alone situation.” 

The top managers of the two lenders attended the meeting, which took place at the law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. The participants included the Chairman of Veneto Banca,Beniamino Anselmi, the Vice Chairman of Popolare di Vicenza, Salvatore Bragantini, the CEO of Veneto Banca, Cristiano Carrus, as well as representatives from Quaestio Sgr (which runs Atlante and is the majority shareholder of the two banks) along with the advisers of Boston Consulting Group.

Joining in teleconference were the Chairman of Vicenza, Gianni Mion, and CEO Francesco Iorio.

The start of the process of dialogue ahead of the merger was confirmed by the Chairman of Veneto Banca.

“Yes, absolutely,” Anselmi said after the meeting, asked if the two banks were in talks.

“We get along well, we are not religious and open to anything,” he said, clarifying that “nothing has been decided.”

Bragantini confirmed. “Anselmi is right,” the Vice Chairman of Popolare di Vicenza said, adding the dialogue has “certainly” started.

The meeting served to kick off to the preparing work ahead of the merger. Next week a new round of meetings is scheduled.