Credit Agricole Italia secured majority support for a $1 billion takeover of rival bank Creval on Wednesday, after agreeing to pay the maximum price regardless of acceptance levels for its offer

A low take-up had threatened to thwart plans by France’s second-largest bank Credit Agricole to cement its presence in Italy’s consolidating banking sector, which is its biggest foreign market.

As of Tuesday, which was due to be the second-to-last day for the offer, take-up stood at 22.6% of the shares targeted by the bid despite an improved offer price last week.

To overcome opposition from Creval and many of its investors, Credit Agricole Italia had upped the bid price to 12.20 euros a share from an initial 10.50 euros, a level which Creval shares had been consistently trading above.

It said it would pay a higher price of 12.50 euros only if acceptances topped 90% of Creval’s capital, for an investment of up to 855.36 million euros ($1 billion).

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Source: Reuters