IntesaBci Cedes Control of Argentine
IntesaBci, Italy's largest bank, is spending $150 million to
recapitalize its Argentine unit and then cede control of it in
a merger with Banco Patagonia SA, a local lender in southern
Argentina. The Italian bank will retain a minority stake in the
merged company, that will include Banco Sudameris Argentina's
$584 million of assets and 99 branches along with Banco
Patagonia's 289 million pesos of assets and about 30 branches.
UBS Warburg advised the Milan-based IntesaBci on the
transaction. The bank is divesting from Argentina and Brazil as
well as cutting as many as 8,000 jobs as it tries to regain
profitability after suffering losses in the second quarter.
IntesaBci acquired its Latin American unit, Sudameris, when it
bought Banca Commerciale Italiana in 1999. France's
Crédit Agricole and Canada's Scotiabank cut
their losses in Argentina by walking away from their operations
there following the government's default last year and the
January currency devaluation. In March, IntesaBci agreed to
sell its Brazilian unit...
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