CaixaBank may acquire Isabel Dos Santos' stake in BPI

By Staff Writer

Mar 02, 2016 03:37 AM EST

CaixaBank is planning to buy the stake of Isabel Dos Santos in BPI, but it is currently still in progress. An agreement over buying stake in Banco BPI is expected to be finalized in few days. 

Spain-based bank CaixaBank is mulling over acquiring the stake of Isabel Dos Santos, an Angolan investor. Isabel Dos Santos holds 21 percent shareholding in Portugal's Banco BPI SA. Isabel Dos Santos is the known as the daughter of Angola's long serving President and  also the second largest shareholder in BPI. 

Reuters reports that acquisition of stake held by Isabel dos Santos will take the total shareholding of CaixaBank in Banco BPI to 44.1 percent. Caixabank is already an existing major shareholder in BPI. Isabel Dos Santos fended off a takeover bid for BPI from Caixabank.

So far no decision has been taken as talks are still going on between CaixaBank and Isabel Dos Santos. BPI is planning to spinoff assets in Africa. Isabel Dos Santos has been opposing this proposal, which was also rejected by shareholders as well. Hence, the proposal on spinoff African assets didn't get the required two-third majority. 

Bloomberg further adds that Caixabank needs to make an offer for the entire company for purchasing the stake of Isabel Dos Santos. A spokesman for Isabel Dos Santos in Lisbon was not available for a comment. CaixaBank is planning to hike its stake in BPI. CaixaBank made an offer of Euro1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) in 2015 to buy the stake of 56 percent in BPI, but it was scrapped as Isabel Dos Santos opposed it. 

CaixaBank, the largest shareholder in BPI, was not in a position to use 44.1 percent voting stake owing to a statutory cap. CaixaBank has only 20 percent of statutory voting rights. BPI's board of directors has decided to convene a new shareholder meeting. 

Meanwhile, global rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed ratings for CaixaBank and Banco BPI. The outlooks on long term issuer default ratings (IDRs) are positive. Fitch has also affirmed positive outlook on the ratings on Caixabank's parent holding company Criteria Caixa SA. The affirmation of Caixabank's ratings reflect a sustained decline in non-performing loans (NPLs), according to Fitch Ratings

The new shareholder meeting will take a decision on eliminating the voting rights cap. The board also made an attempt earlier to clear cap on voting rights, but did noy succeed. CaixaBank's credit risk profile has been benefited from a steady decline in non-performing loans as it fell 5.6 percent for the year 2015.

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