Overseas banks in the race to buy 42% share of EuroBic

 In News

Banks from Spain, China, the Middle East and the United Kingdom are competing to buy Isabel dos Santos’ share in EuroBic.

Abanca is one of the front runners to buy the bank managed by former finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos after the institution was caught up in the centre of the storm from Luanda Leaks, but sources close to the on-line news service ECO suggest 100% of the bank could go under the hammer.
A week ago, the Angolan tycoon who stands accused in her own country of funnelling funds from Angola’s state oil company Sonangol to buy shares in leading Portuguese companies such as oil and gas giant Galp and telecommunications firm Nos, announced her intention to sell her 42.5% share in EuroBic.
At the time, Isabel dos Santos revealed that there were already various interested parties to buy her share, adding that the operation would likely be concluded “very soon”.
For now, EuroBic has five offers. One of them is from Spanish bank Abanca which last year bought up Deutsche bank’s participation in Portugal’s banking sector including all of its branches.
A committee from the Spanish bank headed by Juan Carlos Escotet and CEO Francisco Botas had a meeting at the bank’s HQ located on Avenida António Augusto Aguiar in Lisbon as reported by Jornal Económico.
Abanca is a relatively new kid on the block on the Portuguese banking scene which is now almost solely dominated by overseas banks.
It had only four branches when it bought up Deutsche Bank last year. A few months later it snapped up Banco Caixa Geral in Spain from Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) after offering €368 million.
The fact that Abanca is operating within the Euro Zone and as such is authorised by the European Central Bank (ECB) also puts it ahead of the game to buy up EuroBic.
Officially, the bank has declined to make any statements, but which ever horse is in the front running, it will have to obtain the seal of approval from the European supervisor.
On the other hand, if it is announced that only Isabel dos Santos’ share is up for grabs, the sale could involve other shareholders such as the Portuguese-Angolan Fernando Teles who owns 37.5% of the capital in EuroBic.
The remaining capital in the bank is spread over various other shareholders including Luís Cortez dos Santos, Manuel Pinheiro Fernandes (Martal group) and Sebastião Lavrador (ex-governor of the Banco Nacional de Angola), each with 5%.