Unipol gets antitrust approval for takeover Italy's BNL bank

Unipol Assicurazioni SpA said Tuesday it had received the necessary antitrust regulator authorization for its Ђ4.9 billion (US$6.12 billion) bid to take over Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA.

The bid is pending approval by insurance regulator Isvap and the Bank of Italy.

Italy's market watchdog Consob approved Unipol's prospectus last week but asked the insurer for further information regarding the nature of the agreements with Deutsche Bank.

The German bank has a call option on nearly 5 percent of BNL but is not a member of the shareholder pact led by Unipol that is launching the takeover bid for the Rome-based bank.

Unipol filed the final version of a 400-page document with conditions for its BNL bid to Consob on Friday.

Unipol's all-cash offer to acquire the 59 percent of BNL that it doesn't already own has torpedoed a rival all-share offer from Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA which ended unsuccessfully in July, AP reported.

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