China’s Fosun expresses interest in purchasing Portugal’s Novo Banco

2 January 2015

Chinese group Fosun International is one of 17 institutions that have expressed interest in acquiring Portuguese bank Novo Banco, whose sale process should be completed by next July, according to the Portuguese press.

The deadline for expressions of interest was 31 December, 2014, and the number of interested parties released Wednesday by the Bank of Portugal went far beyond the expectations created in recent weeks, as some entities, such as Banco BPI and Spanish banks Santander and Popular, announced their intentions to participate.

“Following the invitation by the Resolution Fund, published on 4 December, 2014, 17 entities have expressed interest in the process of selling Novo Banco within the prescribed period (by 17:00 on 31 December, 2014),” said the Bank Portugal Wednesday in a statement.

Five of the interested parties are already known: Banco BPI (which has Spain’s La Caixa as its largest shareholder), Santander (which in Portugal controls Banco Santander Totta), China’s Fosun International (which acquired insurer Fidelidade and healthcare company Espírito Santo Saúde) US company Apollo (which is close to acquiring insurance company Tranquilidade) and also Spain’s Banco Popular.

The Bank of Portugal, which may still request additional documentation, shall communicate its decision individually to each party.

After signing a confidentiality agreement, the pre-qualified candidates will receive information about the Novo Banco group, detailed communication on the next stage of the procedure and will then be invited to submit non-binding proposals at the end of the next phase of the process.(macauhub/CN/PT)