Investindustrial may buy into Carige capital hike - source

MILAN Tue Feb 4, 2014 10:23am EST

MILAN Feb 4 (Reuters) - Italian private equity fund Investindustrial may consider buying into a capital hike regional lender Banca Carige is expected to launch soon once the terms of the operation are known, a source close to Investindustrial said on Tuesday.

Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore said on Tuesday Investindustrial, which has just sold its entire stake in Banca Popolare di Milano, could invest in Genoa-based Carige.

The source told Reuters reports about Investindustrial interest were groundless at this stage but did not rule out a future involvement once the terms of the rights issue are defined and the bank has a clear industrial plan.

Carige is one of 15 Italian banks subject to a health check by the European Central Bank, and one of four planning to tap markets to repair balance sheets ravaged by bad loans during the country's longest post-war recession.

Carige, which needs to raise 800 million euros ($1.08 billion) to boost its capital, has not announced a timetable for the transaction. ($1 = 0.7397 euros) (Reporting by Andrea Mandala, writing by Isla Binnie)