MILAN, July 25 (Reuters) - London-based private equity fund Pamplona Capital Management LLP said on Thursday it had given a 4.01 percent stake it owns in Italian lender UniCredit to Deutsche Bank as a pledge for financing.
The fund, backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, said that Deutsche Bank was committed to returning the stake upon request so that Pamplona could exercise its voting rights at UniCredit’s shareholder meetings.
The statement by Pamplona was made at the request of Italian market regulator Consob after an Italian daily reported Deutsche Bank had the right to use and dispose of the pledged shares without the consent of the fund.
“Such dispossession of UniCredit shares in favor of Deutsche Bank must be deemed on a temporary basis only,” the fund said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank said its position remained unchanged from an year ago when it had excluded the intention to build a stake in the Italian lender in connection with Pamplona.
The fund bought a 5.01 percent stake in Italy’s biggest lender by assets in June 2012, becoming the bank’s second largest shareholder.
On that occasion, Deutsche Bank said it provided financing to Pamplona, adding “in no circumstances under the transaction, will Deutsche Bank acquire and maintain shares in the share capital of UniCredit.”