Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is buying Banca Antonveneta from Spain5;s Banco Santander paying nine billion euros. Santander has only just acquired Antonveneta as part of the consortium that bought ABN Amro of the Netherlands. For Santander’s chairman, Emilio Botín, the flip sale represents a profit of about 50%.
Antonveneta was the target of a fierce takeover battle before ABN AMRO acquired it last year. MPS was the last of the large Italian banks not to merge or be acquired in recent months. This purchase, in a rapidly consolidating market, will make the Tuscan bank Italy’s third largest lender with around 3,000 branches and a strong presence in the prosperous north-east of Italy.