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HSBC Left With EU400 Million Amadeus Stake as Sale Flops

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) owns more than 400 million euros ($515 million) of Amadeus IT Holding SA (AMS) shares after failing to find buyers for a stake in the travel reservations company.

HSBC, which attempted to place a block of Amadeus shares last week, holds 5.4 percent of the company, the bank said in a filing to the Spanish financial regulator this week.

HSBC disclosed its stake in Amadeus, a Madrid-based operator of travel booking systems, on Nov. 20, when the shares were valued at 447 million euros, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

On Nov. 14, the bank managed a block sale of 23.6 million shares, or a 5.3 percent stake of Amadeus, on behalf of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) and Societe Generale SA, which had borrowed stock from Air-France KLM. The placing triggered HSBC’s obligations as an underwriter, the bank told the Spanish regulator, which means it had to keep stock on its books. Robert Baker, a spokesman for HSBC, declined to comment on the deal.

HSBC has made no further filing to disclose its holdings to the Spanish agency, the Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores, also known as the CNMV.

Spanish regulations give buyers four market working days to disclose when they cross a 3 percent ownership threshold in a listed company. After taking a 5 percent stake, they need to declare each additional ownership increase of 1 percentage point. Before the block sale, HSBC had 2.74 million shares in Amadeus, according to the CNMV filing, meaning the bank added 21.23 million Amadeus shares to its Amadeus stake.

Amadeus shares traded at 17.7 euros at 10:43 a.m. in Madrid. They have fallen 8.3 percent since Nov. 14. On that day, HSBC said the block sale was being conducted at 19 euros per share.

The Financial Times reported the HSBC stake earlier today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alexis Xydias in London at; Ruth David in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at

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