UniCredit kicks off placement of its stake in Mediobanca

MILAN, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Italy’s largest bank UniCredit said on Tuesday it had started the placement of its 8.4% stake in investment bank Mediobanca, in a move that could shake up the country’s financial landscape.

UniCredit has been a long-time shareholder in the venerable merchant bank, which for much of Italy’s post-war history was at the centre of a web of cross-shareholdings allowing it to call the shots at much of Italy Inc.

Though Mediobanca has in recent years exited many of its investments in other companies, it remains the biggest shareholder in Europe’s third-biggest insurer Generali.

Credito Italiano, the bank that UniCredit grew out of, was among the founders of Mediobanca in 1946.

UniCredit is selling the stake at an average price of 10.53 euros per share, according to Block Trade, for an overall value of around 780 million euros.

Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, Gianluca Semeraro and Elvira Pollina