Generali closer to controlling Cattolica after Buffett tenders shares - source

10/22/2021 | 01:23pm

MILAN (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has tendered its stake in Cattolica under a takeover offer by Assicurazioni Generali, a source close to the situation said on Friday.

The move brings Italy's top insurer a step closer to controlling its smaller rival after Generali announced a 1.17 billion euro ($1.36 billion) buyout offer on Cattolica in May to further strengthen its domestic market leadership.

The Trieste-based company became Cattolica's single largest shareholder with a 23.7% stake last year, relegating Berkshire Hathaway to second place when excluding the 12.3% held by Cattolica itself.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has tendered its 6.93%, the source said, confirming an earlier report by news agency Radiocor.

So far, 24.77% of the shares subject to the offer, or 18.9% of the total capital, have been tendered in the bid, which ends on Oct. 29, Borsa Italiana said in a statement without giving further details.

That implies that Generali would hold at least 42.6% of Cattolica, nearing the 50% plus one share threshold that the company has set as a condition of the offer.

($1 = 0.8601 euros)

(Reporting by Andrea Mandala and Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)

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