Two Chinese groups put forward proposals to buy Portugal’s Novo Banco

1 July 2015

Chinese groups Fosun International and Anbang Insurance and the US fund management company Apollo Global Management have presented binding proposals for the purchase of Portugal’s Novo Banco, the Portuguese press reported Tuesday.

The Resolution Fund and the Bank of Portugal received three binding bids to buy Novo Banco, according to a statement from the Bank of Portugal which did not identify the bidders, but weekly newspaper Expresso had reported that Spanish banking group Santander had pulled out and daily newspaper Diário Económico reported that fund manager Cerberus had also given up.

Apollo Global Management is an American investment fund that controls Portugal’s Tranquilidade insurance company, Fosun International is a Chinese conglomerate that acquired Portuguese insurance company Fidelidade and healthcare company Espírito Santo Saúde and Anbang Insurance is a Chinese financial group that has a strong presence in the insurance sector.

The Bank of Portugal will assess the proposals in the coming weeks, based on the criteria set out in the specifications of the sale procedure.

These rules determine that the best offers should be selected for a negotiation phase. In the indicative offers phase the Chinese competitors are known to have put forward the highest bids.

The “secret” of a successful bid will be the amount paid, which will have to ensure minimum losses (preferably at a profit or no loss) for the Resolution Fund, which is paying interest nn the 4.9 billion-euro loan from the State received to prevent Banco Espírito Santo (BES) going bankrupt and being able to open its doors on 4 August, 2014, with a new name: Novo Banco. (macauhub/CN/PT)