Credit Agricole eyeballs Alliance and Leicester

22nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, May 22, 2006 (AFP) - Crédit Agricole, France's biggest bank, confirmed Monday its interest in possibly bidding for British peer Alliance and Leicester.

LONDON, May 22, 2006 (AFP) - Crédit Agricole, France's biggest bank, confirmed Monday its interest in possibly bidding for British peer Alliance and Leicester.

Responding to a weekend press report that it is poised to offer six billion pounds (EUR 8.8 billion) for A and L, Crédit Agricole said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that it had yet to put forward a proposal.

"The group remains focused on its strong organic growth prospects and incremental acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin" the statement said.

"At any one time the group may also review selected larger opportunities and in so doing will maintain its strictly disciplined evaluation approach.

"In this context, Crédit Agricole is assessing Alliance and Leicester, amongst others, but would note that its evaluation is at a preliminary stage.

"Crédit Agricole has not made any proposal to Alliance and Leicester and there can be no certainty that any proposal or offer will be made," the statement added.

Britain's Sunday Express newspaper, citing a source close to A and L, reported at the weekend that Crédit Agricole could make an approach within weeks.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Spanish bank Banco Santander Central Hispano (SCH) was in takeover talks to buy Alliance and Leicester for 6.5 billion pounds.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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