Caixabank and Bankia shareholders confirm merger

Acquisition will see companies create the biggest financial institution in Spain with €650 billion in assets

Caixabank headquarters in Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné)
Caixabank headquarters in Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 3, 2020 01:04 PM

Shareholders of the state-owned lender Bankia and the Catalan-founded Caixabank have confirmed the merger of the two companies.

The result of the acquisition will see the birth of the largest financial institution in Spain with €650 billion in assets. 

On Thursday, Caixabank stockholders met to give their go-ahead to the deal, while on Tuesday, Bankia’s shareholders did the same. 

Share split

Merger talks were first announced in September, and the two groups then agreed on what weight each group would hold in the resulting organization.

According to the final deal, Caixabank offered 0.6845 shares for every share in Bankia — which means that the former will hold 74.2% of the new company, while the latter will keep 25.8% of the conglomerate’s shares.

With a large part of Bankia’s assets controlled by Spain’s bank bailout fund, FROB, 16.1% of the new company will remain state-owned.

The largest shareholder will be Fundació Bancària La Caixa, Catalan in origin, with 30% of the merged institution.

21.6 million clients and 50,000 employees combined

With 13.6 million Caixabank clients and another 8 million Bankia ones, the new bank is set to have a total of 21.6 million customers.

Combined, both companies employ over 50,000 people (35,000 at Caixabank and 15,000 at Bankia), but a recent Barclays report suggests that the merger could leave around 5,750 workers jobless.

With 6,727 offices combined across Spain, the new institution would far surpass Santander's 3,222 and BBVA's 2,592. According to Barclays, 1,411 Caixabank and Bankia offices could possibly share the same ZIP code and eventually be shut.

HQ and board

The resulting institution will keep Caixabank’s name and its legal headquarters in Valencia, where the institution relocated from Barcelona in 2017 following political tension and economic uncertainty in the wake of the Catalan independence bid. However, the central headquarters will be divided between Barcelona and Madrid. 

Caixabank’s CEO Gonzalo Gortazar will also become the chief executive of the new corporation, with Bankia’s José Ignacio Goirigolzarri serving as executive chairperson.

The board of directors will have 15 members, a third of them women, and nine of whom being presented as "independent" from both institutions.