Portugal’s Novo Banco completes sale of insurance company Tranquilidade

20 January 2015

Novo Banco, the bank that inherited the healthy assets of Banco Espírito Santo (BES), has completed the sale of insurance company Tranquilidade to a company managed by the Apollo Fund, from the United States, the bank said in a statement filed with Portuguese market regulator, CMVM.

In the document, the bank said, “as the shares were given to the new financial institution as a financial pledge to cover credit granted to the Espírito Santo Financial Group, this sale was carried out by executing the financial pledge.”

The statement also said, “the payment received by Novo Banco was the best offer received during the sale process initiated by the shareholder of Tranquilidade, presented by the Apollo investment fund and with adjustments made based on material changes in the company’s balance sheet between 31 December 2013 and 12 September 2014.”

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

“Following a call for tender from the resolution fund, published on 4 December, 2014, 17 entities expressed interest in the Novo Banco transfer procedure within the prescribed period (by 5 pm on 31 December, 2014),” the Bank of Portugal said earlier this year.

Five of the interested parties have already been identified: Banco BPI (whose main shareholder is Spain’s La Caixa), Santander (which in Portugal controls Banco Totta), China’s Fosun International (which bought insurance company Fidelidade and healthcare company Espírito Santo Saude) US company Apollo (which has now completed the acquisition of the Tranquilidade insurance company) along with Spain’s Banco Popular. (macauhub/CN/PT)