Creval investor Kairos views Credit Agricole offer as 'inadequate'

MILAN, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Creval’s investor Kairos considers Credit Agricole’s takeover offer for the Italian lender as “inadequate”, Massimo Trabattoni, head of Italian equities at the asset manager, told daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

The Italian division of France’s Credit Agricole last month offered 10.50 euro a share to buy the Italian lender for an overall investment of 737 million euros.

Kairos, which owns around 3% of Creval, is the latest shareholder to speak out against the offer. Investment fund Hosking Partners, which owns 4.72% of Creval, said it would back the Italian bank’s board to secure a better price.

Creval has already said the offer was neither expected nor agreed and sources have said that the Italian bank was preparing to do battle to get shareholders a higher bid.

“Credit Agricole’s offer is welcome, but under different conditions,” Trabattoni told the newspaper, adding Creval’s management was carrying out a credible business plan that promised to deliver value and had significant excess capital to help it weather the coronavirus crisis.

He dismissed worries that no other suitor would come along should Credit Agricole walk away.

A spokeswoman for Kairos confirmed Trabbatoni’s comments.

The head of Credit Agricole’s Italian unit said this week that the bank had no intention of raising its bid and if the number of shareholders that take up the offer were not sufficient to pursue its planned project, it could give up on the bid without it changing its strategy in Italy. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Alexander Smith)