Oliver Wyman, SocGen to advise on rescued Italian banks, say sources: Reuters

U.S. consulting firm Oliver Wyman and French bank Societe Generale will advise on the sale of four small Italian banks rescued last month, three sources close to the matter said on Monday.

Banca delle Marche, Banca Popolare dell’Etruria, Carife and Carichieti were rescued in November using Italy’s newly created national resolution fund, imposing losses on shareholders and junior bondholders.

As part of the 3.6 billion euro ($4 billion) deal, Italian authorities set up four temporary or bridge banks that will receive all the lenders’ assets and liabilities, and which will be sold in coming months.

“Oliver Wyman will be the strategic adviser and give support on how to organise the sale of the four bridge banks to maximise the outcome,” one of the sources said, confirming an earlier report in Italian daily La Repubblica.

Societe Generale will be financial advisor and will seek contact with prospective buyers, the source said.
An official announcement on the advisers is expected by the end of this week, the sources added. Oliver Wyman declined comment, while Societe Generale was not immediately available to comment.

Under the reorganisation of the four banks, Italian authorities also created an asset management vehicle that will take on the four banks’ impaired assets after they were written down by more than 80 percent to 1.5 billion euros.

According to three separate financial sources, U.S. specialist funds already active on the Italian market are interested in buying those bad loans. “Cerberus, Apollo and Fortress are looking at the non-performing loans on sale,” one of the sources said.

Another source said the deal was more suitable for big funds than small local investors, also citing Lone Star as a prospective buyer.

Cerberus, Apollo and Fortress declined comment, while Lone Star did not respond to a request for comment.