14th April 2021
BBVA - Banco Sabadell
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BBVA and Banco Sabadell abandon merger plans

Spain’s second-largest bank BBVA and Banco Sabadell have abandoned plans for a merger, as first divulged last week.

The two banks had previously announced that they were in talks about a possible merger, although it had been stressed there was no certainty that it would be agreed. The news had come on the same day that BBVA, which has headquarters in the Basque city of Bilbao as well as in Madrid, announced the sale of its US subsidiary to PNC for €9.7 billion. Sabadell has a market capitalisation of €2.3bn compared with BBVA’s €24.5bn.

‘Banco Sabadell informs that the board of directors has decided to terminate the … discussions because the parties have not achieved an agreement on the exchange ratio of both entities,’ Sabadell has said in a statement. The offer from BBVA did not reflect the real value of its business, it added, without giving further details.

BBVA said in a separate statement that ‘discussions about a merger with Banco Sabadell were concluding without reaching an accord’.

In September, the boards of Spain’s CaixaBank and Bankia approved a merger plan between the two, which will create Spain’s largest financial institution. The new bank will keep the CaixaBank brand, and will have assets of more than €664 billion, the companies said.

If the merger between BBVA and Banco Sabadell had proceeded, the resulting entity would have become the second largest, with joint assets of approximately €600 billion.

BBVA posted a net loss of 15 million euros for the first nine months of 2020 while Banco Sabadell, Spain’s fifth-largest bank, saw net profit fall during the period by 74% to 203 million euros, as it increased provisions for bad loans.

Founded in 1857, BBVA employs more than 100,000 people in about 30 countries. Banco Sabadell said on Friday that it would present a new strategic plan during the first quarter of 2021 which will focus on Spain’s domestic market.

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