Novobanco to be sold
The CEO of Novobanco has informed staff that they should be prepared for the bank to be offered for sale through an Initial Public Offer. (IPO)
Mark Bourke said his mission was now to prepare the bank to be sold on the stock market through an IPO.
The main shareholder in the bank is the US equity fund Lone Star. Under the bank’s leadership of António Ramalho, the bank began a long and painful restructuring process involving the closure of branches all over the country (314 already closed), a reduction in staff numbers as outlined in its restructuring plan by 1,500 (750 by 2023), and a move towards the digitalisation of bank processes.
However, to keep the bank afloat and ensure it was sufficiently capitalised in line with European Central Bank regulations, the public and banking system injected an estimated €8Bn into Novobanco over a period of eight years.
Lone Star, which invested €1Bn in the bank in 2017 is seeking to sell its 75% position in the bank to recoup the investment.
In his first meeting with the commission of employees since he took over from António Ramalho at the bank in September, Mark Bourke said that more important than selling off the bank, was “preparing the bank for an IPO to ensure a completely independent future”, according to an internal round-robin memo which the online news source ECO had access to.