Banco BPI shareholders postpone decision on sale of Angolan stake

Banco BPI SA Headquarters Banco BPI SA Headquarters

Shareholders in Banco BPI voted on Wednesday to suspend until Dec. 13 a meeting on the sale of a 2 percent stake in Angolan bank BFA, which it has hoped would meet requirements by the European Central Bank on exposure to the Angolan economy.

The suspension was proposed by Spain’s Caixabank, BPI’s biggest shareholder with a 45 percent stake, that has launched a bid for the rest of the Portuguese bank that it does not already own.

“Caixabank’s argument is to wait for a formal response from the ECB to see if the sale fulfils the requirements of reducing exposure to Angola,” one shareholder told Reuters.

The proposed sale of the stake for 28 million euros to Angolan telecoms firm Unitel would reduce BPI’s holding in BFA to 48.1 percent and give majority control of 51.9 percent to Unitel.

The sale was seen as a way of winning Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos’ approval for the takeover bid by Caixabank. Dos Santos is BPI’s second-largest shareholder with a holding of around 20 percent.

Some small shareholders in BPI have complained that the sale of the BFA stake to Unitel, which is controlled by dos Santos, was unfair and should lead Caixabank to raise its bid price for BPI above its current offer of 1.134 euros a share.

Source: Reuters