Home News Spain’s CaixaBank gains control of Portuguese rival BPI in takover

Spain’s CaixaBank gains control of Portuguese rival BPI in takover

Published on 08/02/2017

Spain's third-biggest lender CaixaBank has gained control of 84.5 percent of its Portuguese rival BPI, stock market regulator CMVN said Wednesday, putting an end to a two-year long takeover bid for the control of the bank.

Barcelona-based CaixaBank will pay 644.5 million euros ($689.6 million) to raise its stake in Portugal’s second-largest listed lender from 45.5 percent as part of its takeover bid, the regulator said in a statement.

CaixaBank in September announced its latest bid for the 54.50 percent of the Portuguese lender that it did not already own, offering 1.134 euros per share.

The deadline for acceptances of the offer was the close of business in Lisbon on Tuesday.

CaixaBank has had BPI in its sights since February 2015.

But it was slowed by a dispute over voting rights with Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Angola’s long time president, who is the Portuguese lender’s second biggest shareholder with an 18.6 percent stake.

She has been able to resist CaixaBank’s previous takeover attempts because of a 20 percent limit on any single shareholder’s voting rights.

But BPI shareholders voted in September 2016 to scrap the cap on voting rights and Dos Santos this time around reportedly accepted CaixaBank’s offer.

BPI agreed to sell a two percent stake in its Angolan operation called BFA to a telecoms firm Dos Santos controls in exchange for her support in the shareholder vote to remove the voting rights limits.

The deal slashed BPI’s stake in BFA to less than 50 percent, helping it to comply with European Union rules requiring it to reduce its exposure to risky assets in Angola, an oil and diamond rich former Portuguese colony.

CaixaBank, which first invested in BPI in 1995, had initially tried to buy BPI in February 2015, but it withdrew its offer after Dos Santos refused the lifting of the cap on shareholder voting rights.

BPI, which had 38 billion euros in assets as of the end of December, posted a net profit of 313.2 million euros last year, a 32.5 percent increase over 2015.