(Adds shares, details)
MILAN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Banca Carige’s debt swap offer is likely to go through, the Italian lender said on Thursday, after preliminary results showed bondholders had tendered 455 million euros ($541 million) worth of notes.
The exchange offer, in which Carige offered to convert up to 510 million euros of its junior debt into senior-ranking notes, is a key plank of the troubled bank’s capital raising efforts.
Given the scale of the take-up, Carige said it expects bondholders to approve a mandatory conversion of the debt at upcoming meetings.
The bank’s shares rose 4 percent in early trade, outperforming a 0.5 percent fall in Milan’s banking index .
Carige has said its business could be at risk if its capital plan, which also includes a new share issue for up to 560 million euros and asset disposals, does not go through.
After Rome rescued larger rival Monte dei Paschi di Siena and liquidated two failing regional banks this year, Carige came into focus as the last large Italian bank still in difficulty following a deep recession.
The European Central Bank has given Italy’s ninth-largest bank until the end of December to strengthen its capital.
$1 = 0.8421 euros Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Stephen Jewkes and Jason Neely