* Consob said started procedure to raise bid price
* Lauro 61 bidding to buy out Camfin minority shareholders
* Lauro 61 says to appeal against Consob decision
(Adds bidding group to appeal against Consob decision)
MILAN, Sept 12 Italy's stock market regulator
Consob said it has started a procedure that is likely to force
bidders for Camfin, the holding that controls
tyremaker Pirelli, to increase their bid price.
In a statement on Thursday Consob also said that it is
prolonging the end of the offer, which had been scheduled to
close on Friday, until Sept. 27. Consob will release its opinion
on the offer price before the offer's end, it said.
Lauro 61, led by Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera,
has offered 0.80 euros per share to buy out investors in Camfin
after acquiring a 12.4 percent stake in the company at the same
price from Malacalza Investimenti.
That deal brought to an end years of legal wrangling between
Malacalza and Tronchetti Provera, who had been at loggerheads
over management issues at the group.
As a result Lauro 61 came to own 61 percent of Camfin and,
under Italian rules, had to offer to buy the remaining shares.
Malacalza separately bought a 6.98 percent stake in Pirelli.
Market watchdog Consob has been looking at whether a
possible agreement among parties involved in the Camfin bid may
have resulted in an offer price for the Camfin minority
shareholders that was lower than might be deemed fair.
Lauro 61 has said its purchase of Camfin shares and the
purchase of Pirelli shares by Malacalza were two totally
independent operations, and that it saw no reason why it should
change the bid price.
Lauro 61 said it would lodge an appeal against the market
watchdog's decision with a regional court.
The investment vehicle is owned by Tronchetti Provera, banks
Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, and private
equity fund Clessidra.
The bidding group plans to delist Camfin once it gains full
control and possibly merge with it.
Camfin shares jumped after Consob's statement, and closed up
8 percent at 0.87 euros. Lauro 61 said it was disappointed that
the statement had been released during market hours.
(Reporting by Jennifer Clark and Silvia Aloisi; Editing by
Anthony Barker and Sonya Hepinstall)