August 5, 2020

Abanca throws in the towel and cancels the OPA on Liberbank | Economy

No hostile takeover in banking in Spain has triumphed and Abanca has not managed to change this principle. The Galician entity led by Juan Carlos Escotet has decided not to proceed with the announcement of the offer to buy Liberbank, announced last Friday. Abanca, coming from what was Novacaixa Galicia, announced that it had stated "to the main shareholders of Liberbank in the contacts maintained with them" their firm interest "in promoting a corporate operation that we believe would be very beneficial".

However, on Monday at 5:00 pm, Liberbank issued a statement in which it said that the council was continuing with your merger process with Unicaja, orin which they have been working for five months, waiting to know the conditions of the Abanca bid.

The Galician entity has had to understand that the important shareholders with whom he spoke do not maintain their support for the operation and have decided to backtrack. This bid attempt did not have the support of Liberbank's first executive, Manuel Menéndez, to whom some sources attribute the leak of the news to break any attempt to reach an agreement with the shareholders of Liberbank. Menéndez did not enter into Abanca's plans for the future merged entity.

The main shareholders of Liberbank are the Oceanwood fund, with almost 17% of the capital (although with 10% through derivatives), the Masaveu family, with 5.5%, the Mexican businessman Tinajero, which controls the 7, 4%. The three foundations of the old savings banks (Cantabria, Extremadura and Asturias) account for 24.3%. In total, 54.2%.

Abanca was willing to pay 0.56 euros per share with two conditions: that they let her see the confidential balance sheets of Liberbank and that the operation could be closed in three weeks. During the afternoon of Monday, market sources commented that Menéndez was not going to allow the shareholders to deliver the confidential books from Liberbank to Abanca so that it could make a due dilligence, a detailed analysis of data that explains the real situation of the entity, and everything has jumped through the air.

The withdrawal of Abanca came after the CNMV granted 10 days to the Galician entity Abanca to decide if it finally submits an OPA for Liberbank, as he announced last Friday, or discard it. The stock exchange supervisor ordered Abanca to review some aspects of its offer, presented last Friday, as the fact of conditioning it to a process of reviewing the accounts, a question that the CNMV considers "not admissible."

Liberbank, although it apparently opposed, stated that "without prejudice to the fact that, in the event that the" takeover bid "is formulated, and, if appropriate, authorized by the CNMV, the board will decide at the time and with the scope and guarantees "provided by the law of opas of 2007," always in the best interest of all shareholders. "

Finally, the board clarifies that "in any case, the company is fully committed to fulfilling its objectives communicated to the market, in line with what has been done to date," ie, its merger with Unicaja.


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