Police raid as bank takeover heats up
3 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Police raided Italian bank Banca Popolare di Lodi (BPL), a rival of Dutch firm ABN Amro in the battle for control of the smaller Italian bank Antonveneta.
3 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Police raided Italian bank Banca Popolare di Lodi (BPL), a rival of Dutch firm ABN Amro in the battle for control of the smaller Italian bank Antonveneta.
Italian press agency Ansa said Milan Court ordered Monday's raid after a complaint was lodged by an unnamed interested party. It is being speculated that party could have been ABN Amro.
It is suspected BPL committed fraud in the purchase of Antonveneta shares by spreading false information to mislead the stock market.
Both BPL ands ABN Amro have increased their stakes in Antonveneta in recent weeks as they battle to take over the smaller Italian bank.
Italian justice officials are now investigating whether misleading information was disseminated to influence stock prices, Dutch newspaper 'Het Parool' reported.
An inquiry is also being conducted to determine whether Italian stock market watchdog Consob was deliberately thwarted in carrying out its work.
The European Commission is also starting to lose its patience, demanding the Italian reserve bank explain its role. This follows a legal complaint lodged by ABN Amro against the reserve bank.
One Italian newspaper claims the reserve bank was aware of BPL's intentions to gain control of Antonveneta.
It cited the fact BPL was given permission within three days to buy Antonveneta shares, while ABN Amro was forced to wait three weeks.
The battle for Antonveneta also stole headlines on Saturday when shareholders demanded the resignation of chief Piero Montani, who looked favourable on the ABN Amro takeover bid.
In his place, people loyal to BPL could now seize positions on the Antonveneta board.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news