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Creval shareholders approve €700M cash call, reverse stock split

Credito Valtellinese SpA said shareholders approved its plan to raise up to €700 million in additional capital through the issuance of new shares.

The capital increase, which is part of the Italian lender's 2018-2020 business strategy, is expected to be carried out in the first quarter of 2018. The Banca D'Italia SpA authorized the cash call Dec. 15.

The new ordinary shares will be offered to shareholders on a pre-emptive basis. The terms and conditions of the transaction will be determined by the bank's board of directors prior to the launch of the offering period of the pre-emptive rights, Creval said Dec. 19.

Mediobanca - Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA is acting as global coordinator and book runner while Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. is serving as co-global coordinator and book runner. The two firms entered into an underwriting agreement for the subscription of new shares that may remain unsubscribed at the end of the auction for the unexercised pre-emptive rights.

In addition, shareholders also approved a 1-for-10 reverse split of the lender's shares. The lender noted that the reverse split will have a financially neutral impact and is expected to create a "more efficient and liquid market" for trading in the rights issued as part of the capital raising.

Creval also said it had shuttered 27 more branches, bringing the total branch closures in 2017 to 84, in line with plans to rationalize and optimize its operating network. A further 73 employees have also left the company as part of the redundancy plan it agreed with trade unions in December 2016, for a total of 230 departures in the context of the agreement.