Lone Star approaches CaixaBank to sell Novobanco for €2Bn
The US venture capital and asset management fund Lone Star has put a €2Bn price tag for the sale of its 75% share in Novobanco.
According to the Spanish media outlet Vozpópuli, the bank has suggested the possibility of selling Novobanco to CaixaBank that owns BPI bank in Portugal.
For the time being negotiations are of an informal nature and serve to sound out CaixaBank’s appetite for a possible acquisition.
The newspaper adds that Novobanco has told investors officially that it plans to float the bank on the stock market, while the banking sector in Portugal believes the bank could be sold to one of the large Spanish banks.
In an interview with the business title Negócios in March, the CEO of Novobanco, Mark Bourke said “we can only look to an IPO because outside of this we have no choice in the matter”. (Meaning that Lone Star as the main shareholder has the right to sell the bank and recoup its €1Bn investment made in 2017.)
“We currently have a bank capable of competing and being in the market itself. A strong and independent bank. So the path we are taking is to be a bank that is able to compete in he market on its own account”, he said. But for that, the bank might have to raise the funds to pay off Lone Star.
And the sale of the bank to another larger bank could sound alarm bells to the Portuguese authorities because of the risk of too much concentration in its financial sector.
In April, Negócios suggested two candidates to buy Novobanco: CaixaBank and BCP. Any one of these scenarios would create a super bank in the Portuguese market.