Portugal’s Banco BPI has made what it calls a friendly merger offer of around 12 billion euros for its larger rival Millennium bcp. It is a major reversal as Millennium bcp tried and failed to buy BPI in May.
Fernando Ulrich, BPI’s chief executive, fought off that hostile bid and now wants to turn the tables. He said: “What we want to create is a Portuguese bank, that is independent, with an international reach and with the decisions being made here in Portugal.”
A merger would create the Iberian Peninsula’s third largest bank. Spain’s Banco Santander is the biggest with assets of 884 billion euros followed by BBVA with 492 billion. Millenium bcp and BPI together have assets of 125 billion euros, 1,500 branches and 18,000 thousand employees.
Millenium bcp, which is Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank, said it is considering the offer and one report said its chairman is backing the idea and has begun urging shareholders to accept.
BPI, which is the fifth largest Portuguese lender, has said that it wants an agreement in place for both side to work on a merger plan by the 15 November, otherwise it will walk away.
Based on Millenium bcp’s earlier offer, it is likely that Portugal’s Competition Regular would approved a merger.