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Caixabank bids for Portuguese bank

20Caixabank of Spain has issued a takeover bid for BPI, a Portuguese bank in which it is the largest investor. The cash offer values BPI at 1.94 billion euros, or $2.21 billion, meaning that the takeover would be worth €1.08 billion if Caixabank ends up with 100% of the equity. The bid represents a 27% premium over the Portuguese bank’s share price. Caixabank said in a statement that its offer was conditional on its securing at least 50% of the total equity and BPI shareholders accepting to remove a restriction on shareholder voting rights. At present, BPI’s rules limit the voting rights of any individual shareholder to 20% of the share capital. Portugal is expected to have selected a list of bidders by late March for the auction of Novo Banco, which was formed last August to salvage the healthy assets of Banco Espírito Santo. Analysts have been speculating that BPI would be a front-runner in the auction of Novo Banco. The takeover of BPI would consolidate Caixabank’s position as one of the three big institutions in the Iberian Peninsula, alongside its Spanish rivals Banco Santander and BBVA.

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