UPDATE 3-Tronchetti to retain grip on Pirelli with Camfin bid
* Group to bid 0.8 euros a share for Camfin, then delist it
* Market regulator looking into deal - source
* Tronchetti to remain chairman of Pirelli
* Disgruntled investor Malacalza exits Camfin, buys Pirelli (Adds regulator investigations, updates shares)
By Lisa Jucca
MILAN, June 5 (Reuters) - A group of investors led by Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera will launch a takeover bid for the company that controls the Italian tire maker, in a move that will consolidate the executive's grip on the business.
Tronchetti's consortium will offer 0.8 euros a share to take full control of Camfin, it said on Wednesday.
In a related deal, disgruntled investor Malacalza Investimenti agreed to sell its stakes in two Pirelli holding companies, GPI SpA and Camfin, to the consortium for 160 million euros ($209 million) and exit the tire maker's chain of control.
Later on Wednesday a source close to market regulator Consob said the watchdog was investigating the deal for possible irregularities.
"Consob is carrying out checks at 360 degrees to see whether there were any irregularities in the operation," the source said, without giving further details.
Under the deal, Tronchetti, who already controls the world's No.5 tyre maker through a series of holding companies, will remain the biggest investor in Camfin through an indirect 54.8 percent stake after the takeover and thus continue to wield power over Pirelli.
He will also retain the chairmanship of Pirelli, the statement added.
Malacalza Investimenti, owned by a Genoa-based family of steel-trading moguls, entered a strategic partnership with Tronchetti when it bought a stake in Camfin in 2009.
But the family fell out with Tronchetti last year over how to repay Camfin's hefty debts.
The Malacalza family said on Wednesday it had bought a 6.98 percent stake in Pirelli at 7.8 euros per share - well below the current market price - from insurers Allianz and Fondiaria-SAI.
While that will still give it a voice at the tire maker, the family's influence over the running of the business will be reduced as a result of its exit from Camfin and GPI.
Shares in Camfin ended down 7.4 percent at 0.79 euros, just below the bid price, which represents a discount of nearly 7 percent to Tuesday's closing price. The offer values the whole of Camfin at around 627 million euros ($820 million).
The stock has leapt 210 percent over the last 12 months as the battle for the control of Pirelli escalated.
Pirelli shares closed down 1.2 percent at 8.8 euros.
The investors bidding for Camfin now own 60.99 percent of the holding company and include banks IntesaSanpaolo and UniCredit, and a company linked to private equity fund Clessidra.
The group plans to delist Camfin and merge it into the new company formed by the investor consortium.
($1 = 0.7650 euros) (Reporting by Lisa Jucca, additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Jennifer Clark.; Editing by Patrick Graham, Mark Potter and Andrew Hay)
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