Shareholder pact cuts stake in Italy's Mediobanca
MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) said on Tuesday the shareholder pact that controls it had been scaled back, a move that could increase investor appetite for the influential investment bank.
Mediobanca, for years at the crossroads of Italian capitalism via a complex web of interlocking shareholdings, has been rethinking corporate governance as it focuses on more banking and fewer equity holdings.
Italy's biggest insurance group, Generali, has a stake in Mediobanca which in turn is the largest shareholder in the insurer.
In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said Generali, along with some other shareholders including France's Groupama, had decided to leave the pact when it is renewed on January 1.
The new lighter pact, which will remain in force to the end of 2015, will cover 30.05 percent of the bank's capital compared to the present 38.19 percent.
That will still give the pact's signatories the power to block any unwanted approach from outside investors.
"A lighter pact will increase the free float and attract new investors," a bank analyst said.
Earlier this year Mediobanca said it was prepared to sell all of its equity investments, including its stake in the vehicle that controls Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI), with the exception of Generali.
Mediobanca CEO Alberto Nagel previously advised Generali to withdraw from the shareholder pact on the grounds that the insurer's presence was not coherent with the strategy of the company.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, additional reporting by Isla Binnie)
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