Abanca gets green light to buy Eurobic

 In Acquisitions, Banks, News

The Portuguese competition authority has given the Spanish bank Abanca the green light to buy Eurobic.

The decision not to oppose the buyout was made at the start of March. “The operation is not likely to create significant problems in terms of effective competition in the Portuguese market, or at least in a substantial part of it. Now the last hurdle will be to get he green light from the bank regulators.

The Spanish bank announced the agreement to purchase 100% of Eurobic’s capital on November 15, allowing the bank to unpick a knot in its shareholding structure. The amount involved in the deal was not revealed, but analysts put it at just over €300 million.

In February, the bank led by Juan Carlos Escotet notified the regulator led by Nuno Cunha Rodrigues about the operation. The reply came a month later and was posted on the site of competition authority (Autoridade da Concorrência).

The deal did not raise concerns from a competition point of view since the Portuguese market is already concentrated in the five main institutions – Caixa, BCP, Santander, BPI and Novobanco that control 70% of the market.

Now Abanca is authorised to press ahead with the operation that will enable it treble its presence in Portugal and become the eighth largest bank in the country with 300,000 clients and 250 branches. The bank’s turnover last year stood at €18.5Bn, trailing behind Banco Montepio and Crédito Agrícola.