Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo Becomes Atalanta Sponsor After UBI Takeover

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Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo on Monday said it has become the banking partner of Bergamo-based Serie A football club Atalanta BC after taking over local rival UBI Banca.

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Atalanta is the only Italian team left in the UEFA Champions League tournament and Intesa’s move comes ahead of Wednesday’s quarter-final game against Paris St-Germain (PSG) FC.

Intesa overcame fierce opposition from UBI’s management and local shareholders to secure control of its Bergamo-based rival this month.

It is a deal that will turn it into the euro zone’s eighth-largest bank by assets.

Intesa said in a statement that it was co-financing a 40 million euro (36 million pounds) investment to renovate Bergamo’s Gewiss stadium.

Atalanta, the Serie A top scorers this season with 98 goals, belong to the Percassi family, a powerful local business dynasty that had thrown its weight behind Intesa’s offer.

UBI’s shareholder base comprised dozens of local business owners, which had initially opposed Intesa’s offer, forcing it to significantly improve its terms.

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