UPDATE 1-Italy's Tassara-bank pact could exceed 12 mths

Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:55am EST

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MILAN Jan 16 (Reuters) - Italy's financial holding Carlo Tassara SpA's debt repayment pact with its creditor banks could be extended beyond the planned 12-month period, the company said on Friday.

Carlo Tassara said in a statement the agreement confirmed for 12 months the banks' lines of credit and the banks commitment not to demand repayment of the loans.

Carlo Tassara, the holding of financier Romain Zaleski, agreed in December to refinance 5.4 billion euros of debt in exchange for selling assets after these dropped in value in the market downturn.

Carlo Tassara "declares the availability of banks to examine the concession of extensions in the case in which Carlo Tassara's debt to them is not entirely reimbursed at the end of the agreement", it said in its statement.

The Italian banks in the agreement include Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), UniCredit (CRDI.MI), Banca dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI), Banco Popolare di Milano (PMII.MI) and Banco Popolare (BAPO.MI).

The agreement also foresees repayment of debt to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) and BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) amounting to 1.3 billion euros.

Friday's statement reiterates that under the agreement Carlo Tassara will progressively reduce its debt via sales of investments.

Since early December, Carlo Tassara has cut its stake in insurer Assicurazioni Generali GSI.MI under the 2 percent disclosure threshold, its Intesa stake to 4.6 percent from 5 percent as well as placing shares in France's Vinci (SGEF.PA). (Reporting by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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