MILAN, May 6 (Reuters) - The former controlling shareholder in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and two new Latin American investors in Italy’s third biggest bank have agreed to lower the number of shares they are required to hold onto following the lender’s cash call.
The revision comes after Monte Paschi increased the size of its planned capital increase to 5 billion euros ($6.94 billion) from 3 billion euros, in a bid to plug any possible holes in its finances ahead of a review of the continent’s lenders by the European Central Bank.
The Monte dei Paschi foundation, a not-for-profit entity which had until mid-February owned a third of the bank, sold 6.5 percent of the ailing lender to U.S.-based Fintech Advisory and Brazil’s BTG Pactual on April 4, before the capital hike was increased, leaving it with 2.5 percent.
The stake sale shook up Monte Paschi’s long-standing shareholder structure and turned the bank, which received a 4.1 billion-euro state bailout in the wake of the euro zone crisis and a derivatives scandal, into a potential takeover target.
Under the new terms, Fintech and BTG Pactual will only be obliged to hold on to 60 percent of the fresh shares they have committed to underwrite in the bank’s rights issue, for the duration of the lock-up agreement.
Previously the lock-up, which also applies to the shares bought by the foundation which was once Monte Paschi’s controlling shareholder, applied to all the new shares.
The three investors are committing to keeping their overall stake in Monte Paschi at 9 percent after the cash call. ($1 = 0.7205 Euros) (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by Louise Heavens)