Brussels, 11 November 2010
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of certain Italian retail banking branches by Crédit Agricole
The European Commission has approved under the Merger Regulation the acquisition of the retail bank Cassa di Risparmio della Spezia SpA of Italy and a number of other retail bank branches of Intesa San Paolo in Italy by Crédit Agricole of France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. As a result, the Commission concluded that there was no need for the matter to be examined by the Italian competition authority, which had asked for a referral of the case.
Under the proposed transaction, Crédit Agricole would acquire: (1) Cassa di Risparmio della Spezia SpA, an Italian bank which is currently indirectly controlled by Intesa SanPaolo SpA; and (2) a network of 96 branches belonging to Intesa SanPaolo SpA or undertakings within the same group (together, the “Target”). Crédit Agricole is already active in retail banking services in Italy through a number of subsidiaries.
The two banking networks are to a significant extent complementary in terms of geographic distribution. The Target's branches are mainly located in Northern and Central Italy, in particular in the regions of Liguria, Lombardy, Tuscany, as well as in Latium. The Target also has a small number of branches in Emilia Romagna and Veneto, whilst it is in Emilia Romagna that Crédit Agricole has a more important presence.
The Commission's investigation has shown that the acquisition will not raise any competition concerns, in particular because Crédit Agricole presently only has a relatively limited share of the retail banking market in Italy and the transaction will only lead to minor overlaps in certain regions or provinces.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 20 September 2010 for regulatory clearance under the EU merger control rules. More information on the case will be available at: