Crédit Agricole successfully acquires Italian bank Creval

After several bids considered insufficient, Crédit Agricole announced on April 23 the success of its €855 million takeover bid for the Italian bank Credito Valtellinese (Creval). Crédit Agricole now owns 91.17% of Creval's capital.

Crédit Agricole Italia, 6th largest bank in Italy

With the acquisition of Creval, Crédit Agricole becomes, through its Italian subsidiary Crédit Agricole Italia, the 6th largest bank in Italy. It will thus control 5% of the Italian market.

The mutualist group, which already controlled almost 10% of Credito Valtellinese's capital via its subsidiary Crédit Agricole Assurances, now holds 91.17%, following a takeover bid of 855 million euros.

Italy is Crédit Agricole's 2nd largest market after France. The Group has a large number of branches there, mainly in the north of the country, and is stepping up its acquisitions of regional banking networks.

A difficult and costly acquisition

After announcing a price of 10.50 euros per share in November 2020 , Crédit Agricole had met with an initial refusal from what the Italian press had dubbed the "no" front.

These investors, including Petrus Advisers, Alta Global, Hosking Partners and Melqart Asset Management, considered the offer insufficient. In total, the opponents of this first offer held around 20% of Creval's capital, and justified their desire for a higher amount by the doubling of the Italian bank's net income by 2020.

Crédit Agricole Italia then increased its offer to 12.20 euros per share, then to 12.50 euros, i.e. a 19% increase on the initial proposal. Despite the reluctance of Creval's Board of Directors, which considered the price to be in the range of 12.95 euros to 22.70 euros, the offer was finally accepted.