Generali could merge with banks
by David Masters
Story link: Generali could merge with banks
Italy’s leading insurer Generali could end up as part of an Italian megabank if a rumoured merger between two Italian banks goes ahead.
Shareholders of Italian banks UniCredit and Mediobanca are reported to be considering a merger.
If such a merger went ahead, Generali would have to be part of it because Mediobanca is its core shareholder, with a 15.6% stake.
Insurance companies that merged with banks ended up the hardest hit by the credit crunch.
AIG, which was rescued from collapse by emergency funds from the US government, was brought down not by its insurance businesses, but by its banking unit which invested in subprime debt.
As such, Generali would do best to err on the side of caution if it gets a say in the proposed merger.