HSBC's Southern Exposure
With the purchase of Grupo Bital, HSBC finally has the anchor it has wanted in Mexico for several years.Meanwhile, the feisty Bital is getting a much-needed boost to its balance sheet.
Grupo Financiero Bital, one of Mexico's last important,
locally owned banks, could have easily ended up in the hands of
Dutch or Spanish owners. It spent the first half of 2002
negotiating a $200 million recapitalization plan with ING of
the Netherlands and fielding overtures from Santander Central
Hispano of Spain for an outright acquisition. In the end
however, it was yet another foreigner, London-based HSBC
Holdings, that offered the best deal for the cash-strapped
Bital. In August, just a month after negotiations began, HSBC
plunked down $1.14 billion in cash for the bank, plus a promise
of hundreds of millions more to meet the Mexican government's
December deadline for Bital to complete its recapitalization
program. Bital's controlling shareholder, Mexico's Berrondo
family, which owns 54% of the bank, and Santander Central
Hispano, which owns 26.6%, will tender their shares in a deal
expected to close in...
Already have an account?
Subscribe now for unlimited access to all current and archive news, data and market analysis.
Take a free two-week trial now for the latest news, data and market analysis.