Botín secures OK to raise Bankinter stake to 25pc

26th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Jaime Botín, the former chairman of Bankinter, was given the go-ahead by the Bank of Spain to raise his stake in the medium-sized Spanish lender to 24.99 percent.

26 February 2008

MADRID - Jaime Botín, the former chairman of Bankinter, was given the go-ahead by the Bank of Spain to raise his stake in the medium-sized Spanish lender to 24.99 percent.

The approval by the central bank comes days after French lender Crédit Agricole got authorisation to raise its holding in Bankinter to 29.99 percent, the maximum allowed before a mandatory full offer for the company kicks in.

Bankinter's share price closed yesterday up 1.44 percent at EUR 9.89.

Botín had also sought leave to increase his stake to 29.99 percent. Botín is the brother of Emilio Botín, who is chairman of Banco Santander, Spain's largest lender.

The former Bankinter chairman had controlled a 16.3-percent stake in the lender. His request to raise his holding was seen as a defensive move sparked by Crédit Agricole's foray into Bankinter.

The French lender acquired an initial 4.75 percent of Bankinter. It then agreed to buy a further 14.99-percent stake from Indian-born businessman Ramchand Bhavnani for EUR 809 million, or EUR 13.6 per share. The Bank of Spain also authorised last week Crédit Agricole to proceed with the deal with Bhavnani.

The French lender said last week it wanted to establish a "constructive and lasting dialogue with other Bankinter shareholders and the bank's management."

[Copyright El Pais / Adrian Soto 2008]

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