Mps: the Meloni government would be considering the option to retry the UniCredit card to privatize the Sienese bankfinally tearing away that Monte di Stato brand imprinted on the institution since 2017.
Not only. The executive headed by Giorgia Meloni he would be trying to put an end to the Monte dei Paschi Siena dossier by also trying the Banco BPM card.
The rumors about an M&A, i.e. a merger between Mps and UniCredit or Mps and Banco BPM were reported today in an article published in The print, who also pointed out how the situation in which the Italian bank finds itself has improved, thanks to the success of thecapital increase of 2.5 billion euro.
Meloni & Co ready to try the UniCredit card again, which turned out to be a real flop during the Draghi government?
It was the end of October 2021, when the negotiations between the bank led by Andrea Orcel and Rocca Salimbeni collapsed, in what some had already defined an announced flop.
Motivo, so it was rumored in the corridors of the Treasury: Orcel’s too “punitive” requests.
“Despite the efforts made by both parties, UniCredit and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) announce the interruption of negotiations relating to the potential acquisition of a defined perimeter of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena”read the press release issued from Via XX Settembre and from Piazza Gae Aulenti.
In the whirlwind of rumors, a request was mentioned by the CEO of Piazza Gae Aulenti for a commitment from the higher state to 7 billion euros, that the Treasury would have deemed “too punishing” for Italian taxpayers, after 5.4 billion euros had been paid by the taxpayers themselves in 2017, when MPS was saved with a precautionary recapitalization launched by the Italian government after the OK from Brussels.
“Reaching an agreement on terms that are inconsistent with the agreed assumptions it would not have been in the interest of UniCredit and its shareholders and, in my opinion, also of the stability of the national banking system”, said the CEO of UniCredit Andrea Orcel in those days as all the numbers relating to the deadly embrace between Monte di Stato and the world of Italian politics.
The number one of UniCredit primarily referred to “a mistrust that has long surrounded (was) any operation” on Mps and the fear that the bank would end up with give in to political logicrather than the market.
New rumors emerged about the monstre amount that Andrea Orcel would have asked for in order to purchase a perimeter of MPS assets, rejected by the Mef.
Since then, several things have changed, starting with Daniele Franco’s Treasury’s decision to fire MPS CEO Guido Bastianini, to usher in a new era with the arrival of the current CEO, Louis Lovaglio.
For the Sienese bank, the real turning point came with the capital increase from 2.5 billion euros, concluded successfully at the end of last year, even if the controversy mounted in the wake of the doubt that it was not so much a market operation, as for state aid, they didn’t miss.
Among others, the Financial Times insisted on the nature of the capital increase of Monte di Stato, with an article that highlighted the strange attitude of the ECB and the EU, who preferred to remain silent rather than confirm the validity – according to some investors – of the criticisms relating to the recapitalization of the Sienese bank.
All, in order to close the saddest and most embarrassing chapter both of Italian politics and of the history of Italian banks.
Another crucial turning point for Monte dei Paschi came at the end of 2022, with the ECB’s decision to return to allowing the institution to pay dividends to shareholders.
Mps and Meloni government: UniCredit or Banco BPM option
At this point, the Meloni government would not want to waste time, and would already be on the hunt for the potential new white knight maybe now ready to take on Mps:
on the other hand it was Giorgia Meloni herself who spoke of bad management so fardel folder:
“We work for an orderly exit of the state and to create the conditions for there to be more banking centers in Italy”said the Prime Minister during the press conference at the end of the year.
So is the government ready to play the UniCredit card again? So the press:
“In the Roman palaces, as authoritative sources report, there is talk of two possible interlocutors for the Sienese match: Unicredit and Banco Bpm. The first, if it materialises, would in fact mark a great comeback (..) The rumors tell of a Treasury that also looks to Banco Bpm, not with a view to acquisitions but to mergers that it would also reduce the weight of the French in the two shareholdings: of Crédit Agricole (leading shareholder in Piazza Meda with 9.18%) and of Axa (which in Siena comes immediately after the State with 7.95%)”.
However, the newspaper reports that Banco Bpm officially deny that there is any interest in Siena: something that the managing director Giuseppe Castagna has, among other things, emphasized every time he has been asked a question relating to a possible interest in the Sienese bank .
Meloni & Co should therefore overcome the no barrier in Piazza Meda. A no which, however, could be less peremptory, given that the conditions in which Mps is found have finally improved.