MILAN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - UniCredit will consider Monte dei Paschi among its options for growth but Italy’s second-biggest bank will only pursue a takeover that is in the interest of all of its shareholders, its chairman designate was quoted as saying.
Italy’s Treasury has been studying a potential sale of struggling state-owned Monte Paschi to UniCredit, but the bank wants strict terms to be met before considering an acquisition and is yet to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“The option (of Monte Paschi) will be evaluated like all the others, by doing the math,” Chairman designate Pier Carlo Padoan told daily La Repubblica in an interview published on Friday.
The executive said the bank needed to grow, adding the takeover last year of UBI Banca by UniCredit’s biggest domestic rival, Intesa Sanpaolo, had changed the competitive landscape.
He added that UniCredit’s new chief executive, Andrea Orcel, who is due to start in April, would deal with the matter directly.
“I do not rule out anything,” Padoan told the paper. “We are in a phase of profound change and growth through external lines is one of the tools available, even if, as is obvious, the board will not approve any operation that is not in the full interest of all its shareholders.”
Padoan, who oversaw the bailout of Monte Paschi, Italy’s oldest bank, back in 2017 dismissed the idea that he might have been pressured to take the job at UniCredit to facilitate a takeover of Monte dei Paschi.
“I was neither called nor pushed by politics into UniCredit and I continue to be detached from political pressure,” he said. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Carmel Crimmins)