November 19, 2019 / 5:49 PM / 6 months ago

Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo not interested in insurer Generali

MILAN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo is not interested in Assicurazioni Generali, the Italian bank’s chairman said, after the lender had considered a bid for the country’s top insurer two years ago.

Generali has long been seen as a possible takeover target.

Fresh speculation was fuelled when it emerged that eyewear billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio, already a Generali shareholder, was also the biggest investor in Mediobanca , which has a 13% stake in the insurer and effectively controls it.

Intesa Chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro told reporters his bank was no longer interested, when asked by reporters.

“Generali is a well-managed company with important Italian shareholders and we’re not interested,” he said.

Intesa, which is betting heavily on its insurance business to drive fees, said in 2017 that a possible combination with Generali was one of several options it had looked at as part of the group’s regular studies about expanding its business.

But it had then dropped the plan saying a tie-up would not create value for its shareholders. (Reporting by Valentina Za; Writing by Andrea Mandalà; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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