CaixaBank Said to Prepare Bid for Civica as Spain Urges Mergers

CaixaBank (CABK) SA, Spain’s fourth- biggest lender, is preparing a bid for Banca Civica SA, said a person familiar with the situation.

CaixaBank has been studying Banca Civica’s books as it readies an offer, said the person, who declined to elaborate on the bid and asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

CaixaBank and Banca Civica said in regulatory filings on March 13 that they were studying plans to combine as part of an overhaul of the country’s financial industry. Spain’s government is encouraging more lenders to merge as it requires them to recognize deeper losses on real estate accumulated during the property crash.

El Pais newspaper reported today that a CaixaBank share exchange offer for Civica might value the lender below its existing share price. Civica shares fell as much as 8 percent today, and were down 16 cents, or 6.8 percent, to 2.21 euros by 2:12 p.m. in Madrid trading.

A spokesman for Barcelona-based CaixaBank, who asked not to be named in line with company policy, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Madrid-based Civica wasn’t immediately available for comment when reached by phone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.