December 27, 2019 / 4:04 PM / a month ago

Italian banks hold 80% of ailing lender Carige after rescue

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Carige bank is seen in Rome, Italy September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

MILANO (Reuters) - A depositor protection fund financed by Italian banks held a 80% stake in ailing Banca Carige (CRGI.MI) after funding the bulk of the lender’s 700 million euro ($782 million) capital increase, market regulator Consob said on Friday.

Carige’s fourth cash call since 2014, which was completed earlier this month, was part of a 900 million euro rescue plan to save the lender from liquidation.

Italian banks had to step in to help the Genoa-based lender after attempts to attract interest from other bidders failed.

The depositor protection fund (FITD) is also expected to take part in the rescue of Popolare di Bari, the biggest lender in the south of Italy which was placed under special administration by the central bank this month.

Carige’s former top shareholder, Malacalza Investimenti, diluted its stake to 2% from 27.6% previously, Consob said.

The Malacalza family of steel billionaires did not back the rights issue, having invested more than 400 million euros in Carige since 2015.

Unlisted cooperative banking group Cassa Centrale Banca (CCB) was the only Italian bank to make a direct investment in Carige.

CCB now has a stake of just under 10% in Carige following the capital increase - making it the second largest shareholder - and has an option to buy the FITD’s stake at a deep discount between the middle of next year and the end of 2021.

($1 = 0.8948 euros)

Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; Editing by David Clarke

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