Spanish lender CaixaBank, the Barcelona-listed arm of La Caixa, and smaller competitor Banca Civica SA have both suspended trading on Monday, said stock market regulator CNMV.
The move is in anticipation of a deal announcement that could see CaixaBank take over Banca Civica in an all-share deal that will value the bank at €1.1bn or €2.2 a share, reports showed.
According to local media, CaixaBank is planning to slash the combined workforce by about 3,000 to 3,500 employees, or 10 percent, and shut down around 15 percent of its branches.
Banca Civica shares on Friday closed at €2.22 while CaixaBank, which is worth an estimated €12bn, closed at €3.15.
The boards of both entities are due to meet Monday afternoon to approve the tie-up.