MILAN Struggling Italian insurer Fondiaria-SAI FOSA.MI said on Friday its board has offered peer Unipol (UNPI.MI) a 61 percent stake in the insurer after a planned four-way merger needed to bring the insurer's solvency ratios back to legally required levels.
The 61 percent stake is below Unipol's offer of 66.7 percent.
The difference between the two offers prompted two Italian newspapers on Friday to speculate that Unipol could withdraw its offer.
In January, Unipol agreed to a complex deal to save the loss-making Fondiaria in a four-way merger which also involves Fondiaria parent Premafin PRAI.MI and its unit Milano Assicurazioni ADMI.MI.
Fondiaria-SAI would hold a 27.4 percent stake after the merger, and Premafin would hold 0.85 percent, Fondiaria-SAI said on Friday, confirming Italian press reports.
Fondiaria-SAI said on Friday it "deplored the press leaks on the discussions under way" and "contents of the talks will not be made public until they have been approved by all the companies involved."
(This story corrects paragraph five to show Fondiaria (not Milano Assicurazioni) will hold 27.4 percent)
(Reporting by Jennifer Clark)