May 13, 2021

Unicaja and Liberbank councils give ‘green light’ to their merger project


The boards of directors of Unicaja Banco and Liberbank have given a “green light” to their common merger project, as confirmed to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

The figures of the union of Unicaja and Liberbank: the fifth largest entity in the country with 10,000 workers and almost 2,000 branches

The figures of the union of Unicaja and Liberbank: the fifth largest entity in the country with 10,000 workers and almost 2,000 branches

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The agreement reached this Tuesday afternoon, after weeks in the final phase of a process whose preliminary contacts were confirmed at the beginning of last October. An exchange ratio of 1 Unicaja Banco share for every 2,7705 Liberbank shares has been agreed and the exchange will be handled with newly issued Unicaja Banco shares.

On this occasion, the union has been delayed due to the disagreement in the distribution of powers, an element also conditioned by the requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB), a body that aims to prevent the presidents of financial institutions from having executive functions.

The ECB would have granted a transitional period of two years for Manuel Azuaga (Unicaja Banco) to assume the executive presidency of the future new bank and for Manuel Menéndez (Liberbank) to occupy the position of CEO. At that time, Azuaga will retire upon reaching the age of 75 and the positions will be reevaluated.

After having the approval of the boards, the operation will be submitted to the vote of the shareholders of both entities, predictably in the first quarter of 2021.

Once it also has the favorable opinion of the different regulators and the competition authorities, the merger will give rise to the fifth largest entity by volume of assets in Spain (the merger between CaixaBank and Bankia has already materialized), by adding 108,826 million euros .

The combined entity would have a workforce of 9,972 employees (6,274 from Unicaja Banco and 3,698 from Liberbank) and a network of 1,608 branches (1,029 from Unicaja and 579 from Liberbank), although the adjustment to be carried out to take advantage of the synergies must be defined.

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