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Reports: Bob Diamond among those eyeing Popolare di Vicenza, Veneto Banca

Aconsortium comprising BaupostGroup LLC, Centerbridge Partners LP, and ,established by former BarclaysPlc CEO Bob Diamond, held discussions with fund officials aboutpurchasing and merging BancaPopolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA, both held by Italian bank rescue fundAtlante, The Wall Street Journal reportedJuly 14, citing "people familiar with the matter."

, which is managed byQuaestio Capital Management SGR, received tentative offers from severalbidders, senior bankers told the FinancialTimes, adding that the bids assume that Atlante would retain all ormajority of the lenders' impaired loans.

has discussed purchasing Veneto Banca if it cleaned its balancesheet of distressed loans, the FT noted.U.S.-based private equity fund York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC andChina-based Sixiang, along with a group of Italian business owners, are alsokeen on Veneto Banca's good bank, senior financiers told the FT.

Anyfinal expression of interest is not expected until after the summer, accordingto the reports.