April 16, 2018 / 1:59 PM / a year ago

Sweden's Intrum close to clinching deal for Intesa' bad loan unit-sources

MILAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Intrum Justitia is close to clinching a deal to buy the debt collection business of Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The accord will allow the Scandinavian firm to further boost its presence in Europe’s biggest problem loan market, while helping Intesa work towards its goal of halving its soured debts under a new four-year plan.

Two sources said the accord could be announced in the next few days as Intrum had secured financing for the operation.

Sources have said in the past Intrum is set to buy 51 percent of Intesa’s bad loan unit, with the Italian bank keeping the rest. Under the deal, Intesa will also sell some 10 billion euros in bad debts at around 30 percent of their book value.

A spokesman for Intrum referred to the company’s statement in January which first revealed talks with Intesa were ongoing.

Intrum’s Managing Director for Italy Antonella Pagano said last week the negotiation had entered an “intense phase.” (Reporting by Valentina Za and Gianluca Semeraro,)

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