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UBI signs contract for acquisition of 3 rescued lenders

Unione di Banche Italiane SpA signed a contract to acquire 100% of the share capital of three small Italian banks that were rescued by the country's government in late 2015.

The contract is in line with the terms outlined by UBI Banca in announcing its binding offer for Nuova Banca delle Marche SpA, Nuova Banca dell'Etruria e del Lazio SpA and Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Chieti SpA, which included a purchase price of €1 and a series of conditions that must be fulfilled ahead of the deal's completion.

The conditions include the offloading of €2.2 billion in bad debt held by the three banks, as well as a recapitalization by Italy's resolution fund. The fund will have to stump up €1.5 billion, to be drawn from Italian bank contributions, to complete the transaction, as well as the sale of another rescued bank, the Bank of Italy's chief supervisor, Carmelo Barbagallo, told a senate commission Jan. 17, according to Reuters.

UBI said it aims to close the transaction by the end of the first half, subject to the satisfaction of its conditions and the receipt of required approvals.

It will also aim to raise €400 million of new equity in the same time frame, CEO Victor Massiah said Jan. 19, according to Reuters. That transaction is designed to ensure that the bank's regulatory capital buffers are sustained throughout the transaction process.

The three banks being acquired are the successor institutions to Banca delle Marche SpA, Banca Popolare dell'Etruria e del Lazio SC and Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Chieti SpA, respectively.