THE recent deal between Caixabank and Bankia last month has ignited shelved talks between lenders Unicaja and Liberbank.

The pair began informal talks today to consolidate a deal that will see Unicaja take over their smaller rival with a 60/40 shareholding.

Talks between the two halted earlier in the year after disagreements over shareholding percentages, with Unicaja pushing for a 60% stake whilst Liberbank wanted 42%.

Due to European regulations, both banks were also required to raise capital, both of which have done via investment buffers via shareholders. 

However according to sources close to the case, many of the issues regarding disagreements of shareholder status have been resolved. 

The move, if successful, will create Spain’s seventh biggest bank, with combined market values of €1.72 billion

As of second quarter 2020, Unicaja has a market value of €1.03 billion while Liberbank represents €691 million.   

Banks across Europe are looking for ways to navigate the treacherous economic climate since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many large lenders currently considering mergers with smaller entities.

In Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo recently took over Unione di Banche Italiane, followed by the creation of Spain’s largest bank with the merger of Caixabank and Bankia weeks later.

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