THREE MORE BANKS TAKE STAKES IN GFT

Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — Three more creditor banks have exchanged warrants for equity in GFT, the troubled designer label manufacturer.
Following the lead of Credito Italiano, which last week took a 12.9 percent stake in GFT, Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino has taken a 11.4 percent stake, according to documents filed this week with CONSOB, Italy’s stock market regulatory agency.
Another creditor, Banca di Roma, has acquired 13.3 percent through its Spafid subsidiary, while Banca Nazionale di Lavoro has taken a 12.9 percent stake.
The creditor bank acquisitions were confirmed Wednesday by Gemina SpA, the Fiat group investment company that won control of GFT last month. Creditor banks have now taken an aggregate 50.6 percent stake in GFT in exchange for bridge financing warrants they issued last year.
The remaining 49.4 percent of the company, now in the hands of some nineteen other creditor banks, will be acquired by Gemina. Following the acquisition, Gemina is expected to inject $37 million (60 billion lire) into GFT, thus securing majority control of the company.
Gemina has been interviewing managers and is expected to announce a new managing director and possibly a new upper management team for GFT in the near future, according to sources.

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