(Adds details, background)
MILAN, April 4 The former controlling
shareholder in Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on
Friday it and two new Latin American investors in Italy's third
biggest bank had committed to not selling their respective
holdings for at least 16 months.
The Monte dei Paschi foundation, a not-for-profit entity,
had 33.5 percent in the bank until mid-February - a big enough
holding to veto any unwanted decision at the bank - but it has
since gradually cut its stake to just 3.1 percent.
On Monday, it sold 6.5 percent of Monte dei Paschi to
Fintech Advisory and BTG Pactual Europe.
That has shaken up the bank's shareholder structure and
turned the lender into a potential takeover target for the first
time in nearly two decades.
In a statement issued on Friday the foundation said it had
entered into a shareholder pact with both Latin American
investors in order to stabilise the bank's new shareholder base
and encourage other investors.
Monte dei Paschi was hit hard by the euro zone debt crisis
and a scandal over loss-making derivatives deals and had to
request a 4.1 billion euro state bailout last year.
The two funds will buy into a 3.0 billion euro capital
increase due to be launched by the bank at the end of May so
that their stakes will not be diluted, the statement said, while
the foundation is committed to keeping a stake of 2.5 percent.
Fintech, a U.S.-based investment fund owned by Mexican
businessman David Martinez that bought 4.5 percent of the bank,
has agreed to a 24-month lock-up period during which not to sell
For BTG Pactual, an asset management unit of the Brazilian
investment bank controlled by billionaire financier André
Esteves, which purchased another 2 percent, the lock-up will
last 16 months.
Since the foundation cut down its holding, the bank's top
shareholder has become U.S. money manager BlackRock with
a 5.75 percent stake.
Under the pact, the foundation will have the right to
propose its own candidate to be the bank's chairman among a
joint slate of board nominees, while the two funds would be
entitled to choose the chief executive.
However, even if the three currently represent the biggest
single shareholder bloc, the victory of their list is not
guaranteed as it would need the backing of the majority of
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Sophie Walker)