CaixaBank Withdraws BPI Takeover Offer After Investor Vote

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CaixaBank SA, Spain’s third-largest lender, withdrew its offer for Banco BPI SA after the Portuguese company’s shareholders rejected a key condition.

The Barcelona-based lender decided to abandon the bid and will study alternatives for its BPI stake, CaixaBank said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. CaixaBank in February offered 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the 56 percent of BPI that it doesn’t already own.

The bid required BPI to eliminate a rule restricting a single investor’s voting rights to 20 percent, which would prevent CaixaBank from exercising control. A proposal to scrap voting-rights limits fell short of the three-quarters needed for shareholder approval on Wednesday.

“It is not a big surprise after yesterday’s vote,” Benjie Creelan-Sandford, an analyst at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in London, said by phone. “The existing offer was effectively dead.” He downgraded Banco BPI to underperform Wednesday.

Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos, BPI’s second-biggest shareholder with a 19 percent stake, had opposed the offer. She has said she wants BPI to consider combining with Banco Comercial Portugues SA, Portugal’s No. 2 lender.

CaixaBank was targeting the Portuguese lender as part of plans to boost profitability fourfold by 2017. Its two biggest competitors in Spain, Banco Santander SA and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, are also expanding overseas.

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