BPI Gets Offer for BFA Unit Amid Plan to Spin Off African Assets

  • Bank aims to address European rules on exposure to Angola
  • BPI to analyze proposal for BFA, doesn't provide details

Banco BPI SA said it received an offer for a minority stake in its Angolan unit, Banco de Fomento Angola, and is open to receiving other proposals that would help the Portuguese lender comply with European rules limiting its exposure to the African nation.

The board of BPI "has become aware of an expression of interest to purchase a minority stake in BFA," the Oporto-based bank said in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

BPI didn’t provide details about the size of the offer for BFA, in which it holds a 50.1 percent stake. Unitel SA, Angola’s largest mobile-phone carrier, holds the remaining stake.

Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos expressed interest in the minority stake in BFA, Portuguese daily Jornal de Negocios reported Wednesday, without saying how it got the information. Dos Santos is BPI’s second-biggest shareholder with a stake of 18.58 percent, according to the bank’s website.

BPI plans to move its African assets into a new company that will be listed in the Euronext Lisbon stock exchange, it said in the statement. Shareholders will get one share of the new entity for each BPI share, according to the statement.

The spinoff of the African assets, which include BPI’s stake in BFA as well as a 30 percent stake in Banco Comercial e de Investimentos in Mozambique and 100 percent of BPI Mocambique, needs the approval of BFA shareholder Unitel, BPI said.

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