The bank of Portugal said in a statement yesterday that US private equity firm Lone Star is the best placed candidate to buy Novo Banco, the so-called good bank salvaged by the Portuguese government from the collapse of major lender Banco Espirito Santo.
Portugal’s central bank is carrying out “deepen negotiations” with the Dallas based fund to solve “certain constraints” of the possible transaction, such as a potential impact on public accounts, the bank said.
It also noted that rival bidders would not be excluded in the sale process of Novo Banco, as they have expressed a willingness to improve their offers. The statement did not disclose the value of the deal nor the date for a final decision, although the deadline for the sale is reported to be August 2017.
Novo Banco received €3.9bn from the Portuguese Treasury after Banco Espirito Santo went bankrupt in 2014. The government, which is striving to ease Portugal’s huge debt load, wants taxpayers to get that money back.