MPS shareholder close to debt extension - source

MILAN, March 15 Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:33pm EDT

MILAN, March 15 (Reuters) - The controlling shareholder in Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA has clinched a deal with all but one of its 12 creditors to extend a deadline to repay debts to the end of April, a source close to the situation said on Thursday.

An agreement with the last creditor is expected to be finalised overnight, the source said. The foundation's 12 creditors include JP Morgan Chase & Co, Credit Suisse Group AG and Mediobanca.

"A deal has been reached with the pool led by JPMorgan and with Mediobanca. It's almost done with Credit Suisse as well," the source said.

The Monte dei Paschi banking foundation said in a statement on Wednesday it was in advanced talks with its creditors to extend a March 15 deadline for a debt-cutting plan.

Sources close to the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the deadline was likely to be extended until April 30.

The Monte dei Paschi foundation, which has a 49 percent stake in the eponymous lender, is selling a 15.5 percent holding in the bank to partially reimburse 1.1. billion euros of debts.

In the past few days, the foundation has sold 2.52 percent of Monte Paschi, the world's oldest bank, through off-the-market block trades. Transaction records showed on Thursday it raised 113.4 million euros.

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