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Banco BPM takes full ownership of insurance JV with Cattolica

MILAN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Italy’s Banco BPM said on Tuesday it would resolve an insurance partnership with Cattolica by acquiring full control of their joint-ventures, in a move that may ease a mooted tied up with BPER Banca.

Banco BPM said it would exercise a call option to buy the 65% stakes held by Cattolica in their Vera Vita and Vera Assicurazione joint-ventures for an outlay of 335.7 million euros ($408 million).

Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that Banco BPM, Italy’s third-largest bank, is considering a tie-up with smaller rival BPER, whose top investor is insurer UnipolSAI. ($1 = 0.8226 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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