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Report: UniCredit CEO aware of Fortress-Popolare di Vicenza talks

UniCreditSpA CEO Federico Ghizzoni told reporters on the sidelines of aconference in Italy that he was aware of discussions between andBanca Popolare di VicenzaSpA regarding the latter's pending capital hike, Reuters reportedApril 8.

The U.S. firm reportedly proposed to invest approximately€500 million in Popolare di Vicenza's share issue, according to Italiandaily Il Sole 24 Ore. Thepublication said Fortress would also look to buy Popolare di Vicenza's nonperformingloans but that the lender was not keen on the offer.

UniCredit is guaranteeing €1.5 billion of Popolare di Vicenza'sproposed €1.76 billion capitalincrease. Popolare di Vicenza said April 7 that it agreed to extendUniCredit's pre-underwriting commitment to May 10, a move that followed reportsthat UniCredit had looked to delay the cash call.

Marketing for the offer began April 7, with pricing expectedtoward the end of April, Reuters wrote the same day.