- 3 min
Paris / Milan, 28 March 2008: Crédit Agricole, a leading European banking group, and Banco Popolare, one of the major banking groups in Italy, have entered into an exclusive 30 day period of negotiations (ending on 30 April 2008) to examine the possibility of a joint venture between their specialised Italian consumer credit subsidiaries Agos and Ducato.
This joint venture would create the premier consumer credit operator in Italy, with a market share of approximately 14 per cent, with €13bn in outstanding loans in 2007. The new entity would have access to a network of 256 wholly owned branches, the banking networks of Banco Popolare (2,100 branches), Cariparma and Friuladria (700 branches), and 25,000 affiliated retail outlets.
The project is within the framework of a long term partnership between the two groups, based on common mutualist values and drawing upon the European expertise of Crédit Agricole in consumer credit, the nationwide presence of Banco Popolare in Italy and the complementary nature of the activities of the two subsidiaries. Agos is a leader in finalised consumer loans and revolving credit cards while Ducato is a major player in the field of personal/consumer loans.
The financing of the deal is intended to reflect the respective contributions of the two groups and is an all share deal.
In the context of a buoyant Italian market, this deal would offer:
- A full range of products to a diversified client base
- Optimal operational performance of this business line in Italy, notably through the rationalisation of the operational platforms, the risk appreciation tools and the IT systems
- Leverage the reputation of the two existing brands to capture future growth
According to initial estimates synergies would amount to a minimum of 50 million euros pre tax per year.
During the month long negotiations, the two groups will examine in detail the industrial and financial aspects of the deal and the timeframe for implementation, subject to any regulatory and competition constraints.