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Atlas Merchant presents offer to buy Italy's Arca

Atlas Merchant Capital, a U.S based investment firm, has presented a non-binding offer to buy Italy’s Acra, an asset manager, for $1.09 billion. Arca’s biggest shareholders are Italian cooperative banks Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, which each owns a 19.99% stake. Another cooperative lender, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, owns a 12.9% stake.

One source close to the matter said, “It is a non-binding offer. So the value of the deal could change after the due diligence process.”

The spin off of Arca would be the latest in a series of sales between Veneto Banca and Popolare di Vicenza that are raising money to strengthen their balance sheets as they are having issues complying with capital requirements set by the European Central Bank. BPER and Popolare di Sondrio may keep stakes in Arca after the sale.

Anima Holdings, another Italian asset manager, is said to be looking to buy a stake in Arca.