Barcelona-based CaixaBank buys Banca Cívica for €1 billion and becomes Spain’s largest bank
Banca Cívica has accepted the offer from the Catalan bank to pay €1.97 per share. With this operation, CaixaBank, the private bank created last year by the Catalan savings bank ‘La Caixa’, becomes Spain’s largest financial entity, ahead of BBVA and Banco Santander. After buying Banca Cívica, CaixaBank will have more than €342.6 billion in assets in the Spanish market. Banca Cívica was the merger of four savings banks: Caja Navarra, Caja Canarias, Caja de Burgos and Cajasol.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan CaixaBank will buy Banca Cívica, after the latter accepted an offer of \u20AC1.97 per share. On Monday the boards of the four savings banks forming Banca Cívica (Caja Navarra, Caja Canaria, Caja de Burgos, and Cajasol) ratified the purchase agreement, with a price 11.26% below the \u20AC2.22 paid on Friday on the stock exchange. Therefore, after having confirmed CaixaBank\u2019s interest to buy Banca Cívica, the main Catalan bank will finally buy the other for \u20AC977 million. With this operation, the Barcelona-based financial giant CaixaBank will become Spain\u2019s largest bank with more than \u20AC342.6 billion in assets in the domestic market, resulting from merging CaixaBank\u2019s \u20AC270.43 billion in assets with Banca Cívica\u2019s \u20AC72.19 billion. In the Spanish market, CaixaBank will be bigger than BBVA (currently the main bank after buying Unnim) and Banco Santander, two giants on world stage. CaixaBank\u2019s operation was confirmed just 5 days before the Bank of Spain\u2019s deadline given to the sector to clarify their plans. Three main issues remain to be solved in the next few days in Spain\u2019s banking system: what will happen with Bankia, who will buy CatalunyaCaixa and who will buy NovaCaixaGalicia? Past rumours had been pointing to a merger between CaixaBank and Bankia, an operation denied in February by the banks\u2019 presidents and that now seems definitely ruled out.
On Monday, anticipating the operation\u2019s confirmation, the Spanish Stock Market Regulator (CNMV) temporarily suspended CaixaBank and Banca Cívica\u2019s trading. Last Thursday, CaixaBank presented its final offer, \u20AC1.97 per share. On Friday, Banca Cívica shares dropped by 6.33% on the stock exchange, falling to \u20AC2.22 per share.
Despite having a core capital of 9.5% Banca Cívica had great difficulties to meet the new requirements for additional provisions, higher than \u20AC2 billion. In this context, the platform grouping the four savings banks Caja Navarra (based in Pamplona), Caja Canarias (based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Caja de Burgos (based in Burgos) and Cajasol (based in Seville) was looking to join a larger group or participate in a merger.