Apollo Buys Evo Banco in Spain’s First Foreign Deal Since RescueEmma Ross-Thomas
Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to buy Evo Banco, a unit of nationalized Spanish lender NCG Banco SA, in the first foreign private-equity purchase since Spain’s bank bailout last year.
Apollo, a New York-based buyout firm run by Leon Black, will pay 60 million euros ($79 million), or 55 percent of net book value, for Evo Banco, NCG said in an e-mailed statement today. The unit has 702 million euros of loans and 1.6 billion euros of deposits.
It marks the first foreign private-equity acquisition of a Spanish bank since the nation agreed to a 100 billion-euro European bailout for its financial system and created a bad bank to remove soured real estate assets from lenders’ books. More deals may follow as La Caixa financial group is close to selling a 51 percent in its real estate servicing company to U.S. private-equity firm TPG Capital, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Sept. 5.
Evo is “very well positioned to grow and occupy a prominent place in the Spanish market,” Andres Rubio, head of Apollo European Principal Finance Fund II in Spain, said in the statement. “We expect to maintain and expand our current operations to offer the best service to EVO Banco clients.”
The sale of EVO Banco was a condition for the 9 billion euros of state aid granted to NCG, based in A Coruna, Spain, as part of the bailout program. EVO Banco, which pioneered a 12-hour working day in a country where banks shut in the early afternoon, has 249,218 clients and a bad-loans ratio of 0.04 percent, compared with the industry average of 11.6 percent.
It has 80 branches and a workforce of 590, both of which will be maintained after the purchase, the bank said.