Milano, 18 October 2002

IntesaBci received a binding offer from the Mildesa group, majority shareholder of Banco Patagonia SA, Buenos Aires, for Banco Sudameris Argentina, currently controlled – directly and indirectly – through Banque Sudameris SA, Paris.


The proposal will be submitted to the Board of Directors and the members of the “Comité d’Entreprise” of Banque Sudameris SA as soon as possible. UBSWarburg will act as advisor for Gruppo IntesaBci. 


The offer sets out a recapitalisation of Sudameris Argentina and, subsequent to the formal authorisation of the operation from the competent authorities, the merger with Banco Patagonia, following which IntesaBci will hold a minority stake in the merged entity.


The charges on IntesaBci’s consolidated statement of income related to the proposed operation are expected to be approximately 150 million dollars.


According to the terms of the offer letter, the operation should be completed before the end of the current year.


The proposed operation is in line with IntesaBci’s strategies and, at the same time, it is the best  possible answer to the dramatic changes recently under way in the Argentinean market, since it strengthens the local banking system.


We wish to thank the Central Bank of the Argentinean Republic for the constant and active support supplied in the definition of a valid plan.