Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo is expected to receive regulatory approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) in the next two weeks for the proposed acquisition of rival UBI Banca.
Intesa unveiled its plans to buy UBI in an all-paper exchange offer back in February, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The Italian banking group launched the UBI Banca acquisition bid worth as much as €4.9bn ($5.45bn).
The Italian lender aims to create Eurozone’s seventh-largest bank and boost its profits via cost cuts and emphasis on insurance and asset management businesses.
The bank expected to launch the offer at June end after securing the green light from ECB.
However, an antitrust review may push the bid to launch in September this year, according to the report.
Italy’s antitrust body Italian Competition Authority (ICA) might complete its review at the end of July 2020.
Intesa, in order to address the antitrust issues, inked a deal with BPER Banca to shed €20bn ($22.28bn) in assets and up to 500 branches of the new group.
According to Reuters, the antitrust body believes that the merger will significantly change Italy’s banking landscape.
The Italian securities market watchdog Consob must approve the official prospectus for investors, for the offer to be officially launched.