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J.C. Flowers Plans to Resume Talks With Banca Civica

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, plans to resume discussions with Banca Civica after the Spanish bank completes its merger with Cajasol.

“We continue to be impressed with Banca Civica’s unique business model,” Christopher Flowers, founder and executive chairman of J.C. Flowers, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Currently Banca Civica is in negotiations to merge with Cajasol. When these negotiations are complete, we hope to resume our own discussions with Banca Civica.”

J.C. Flowers agreed to purchase 450 million euros ($596 million) of convertible bonds from Banca Civica in July, helping the group of Spanish savings banks to raise capital. The Financial Times reported on Dec. 6 that the firm might not invest in Banca Civica after the lender failed European stress tests. It cited an interview with Flowers, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker.

J.C. Flowers has been investing in the U.K. and Europe in recent months. The buyout firm said in August it planned to inject 50 million pounds ($79 million) into Kent Reliance Building Society as part of a plan to acquire more customer-owned lenders in Britain.

“Although this is not an easy time for the Spanish economy, we remain optimistic about Spain’s fundamentals and believe it offers attractive opportunities for investment,” Flowers said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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