MILAN: Italy’s second-largest banking group San Paolo-IMI has
appointed Italy’s largest PR agency Barabino and Partners to fend off
insurer Generali’s pounds 8 million takeover bid for INA Insurance, in
which it owns a ten per cent stake.
The communications activity, which has fees of pounds 1.3 million,
consists of national and international media relations, investor
relations activity and employee relations.
According to Luca Barabino, president and MD of Barabino and Partners,
should San Paolo make a counter offer, the deal could also lead to an
advertising campaign to help promote that offer.
Barabino is believed to have been selected because of its work for
Olivetti in its takeover bid for Telecom Italia earlier this year.
San Paolo’s integration with INA would produce an estimated pounds 250
million in synergies over a three-year period.
There is mounting pressure on the rival camps to reach a compromise to
avoid a bitter takeover battle that could have potentially damaging
repercussions for the Italian banking system. One compromise that has
been suggested is for Generali to take over INA’s insurance assets and
San Paolo its controlling stake in Banco di Napoli.