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EL - EssilorLuxottica SA News Story

€139.08 -0.8  -0.5%

Last Trade - 16/04/21

Consumer Cyclicals
Large Cap
Market Cap £52.73bn
Enterprise Value £55.80bn
Revenue £12.50bn
Position in Universe 19th / 847

UPDATE 1-Italy's Del Vecchio leads UniCredit investor opposition to MPS deal -sources

Thu 7th January, 2021 3:20pm
* Italy looking for buyer for state-owned MPS
    * UniCredit selecting new CEO, expects to decide in Feb
    * Choice of CEO seen as pivotal in relation to MPS deal

 (Adds details on CEO search)
    By Claudia Cristoferi and Gianluca Semeraro
    MILAN, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del
Vecchio, who owns 1.9% of UniCredit, opposes the bank taking
over rival Monte dei Paschi and is in touch with other large
Italian investors who share his concerns, two people close to
the matter said.
    Rome is trying to reduce its 64% stake in Monte dei Paschi
(MPS)  BMPS.MI , after spending 5.4 billion euros in a 2017
bailout of the world's oldest bank. 
    MPS now needs up to another 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion)
to bolster its finances and Italy sees UniCredit  CRDI.MI  as
the ideal partner, sources have said. 
    But the Milanese bank is looking for a new boss after CEO
Jean Pierre Mustier said he would step down by April after
clashing with its board over strategy.
    Mustier, who favoured returning cash to investors over
dealmaking, had set tough conditions for a potential MPS
acquisition, sources have said.*:nL8N2IG2JF
    The choice of his replacement as CEO will have implications
for any potential MPS deal, with many shareholders in UniCredit
fretting about any candidate perceived as too close to the
government, financial sources have said.
    Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday that Del Vecchio had
held meetings with two other major shareholders in UniCredit,
Fondazione CariVerona and Fondazione CRT. Del Vecchio is the
85-year-old billionaire founder of eyewear giant
EssilorLuxottica  ESLX.PA  and also the leading investor in
Mediobanca  MDBI.MI .
    The three shareholders, which have a combined UniCredit
holding of 5.36%, are looking to form a pact to have a greater
say in the choice of a new CEO and stave off a potential MPS
deal, the daily newspaper said.
    UniCredit, Del Vecchio's holding company Delfin, and the two
foundations declined to comment on the report. 
    One of the sources confirmed that the three UniCredit
shareholders had held talks and said they also had reservations
over an acquisition of loss-making MPS, adding that it was too
soon to speak of any shareholder accord.
    The source said one way to steer UniCredit away from any MPS
deal would be to back an alternative merger.
    UniCredit had held preliminary merger talks with Banco BPM
 BAMI.MI  last year that came to nothing.
    Rome is working on plans to make an MPS takeover more
palatable to UniCredit and its shareholders and two people
familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that Italy
could take on about 14 billion euros in impaired loans from
UniCredit via state-backed loan manager AMCO.*:nL1N2JH1AB
    The second source said some UniCredit investors, while
sceptical about an MPS deal, could be willing to evaluate the
conditions put forward by Rome.
    UniCredit is expected to pick a new CEO in February while a
shortlist of candidates may emerge around mid-January when the
bank's nomination committee and the board are due to meet, three
people familiar with the matter have said.
    One of the people said the bank was looking for a candidate
with strong international credentials in line with indications
Chairman-elect Pier Carlo Padoan, a former economy minister, had
received from investors in recent meetings. 
($1 = 0.8160 euros) 

 (Additional reporting by Valentina Za and Andrea Mandala;
Editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith)
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