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Spain’s Sabadell Said to Decide Against Sale of U.S. Unit

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Banco de Sabadell SA, Spain’s fifth-biggest bank, decided against a sale of its U.S. unit after assessing what suitors might pay for the division, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The Sabadell, Spain-based lender in the past two months gauged interest from potential buyers for Sabadell United Bank NA in Miami, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were private.

The assessment for Sabadell’s U.S. unit was spurred by the price fellow Spanish lender Bankia SA fetched for its Miami lender, the people said. Sabadell, whose U.S. division has more than two dozen branches, has pushed to expand its American presence, earlier this year acquiring Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s private-banking operations in Miami.

Sabadell rose 0.7 percent in Madrid, making it the second-biggest gainer on Spain’s Ibex-35 index. The Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index dropped 1 percent.

Bankia agreed in May to sell the 27-branch City National Bank of Florida for $883 million to Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA. Sabadell United had $3.6 billion in assets as of March 31, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Spanish newspaper Expansion reported last month that Sabadell was considering a sale. Gabriel Martinez, a spokesman for the lender, said it isn’t exploring a sale of the business.

“We continue to solidify our bank’s strong position in Florida,” said Porter Leslie, a spokesman for Sabadell United in the U.S. He also reiterated that there is no sale process under way for the U.S. division.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at mmonks1@bloomberg.net; Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net