Spain savings bank Ibercaja to acquire Caja 3

MADRID Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:00pm EST

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MADRID Nov 29 (Reuters) - Spanish savings bank Ibercaja Banco will take over peer Banco Grupo Caja 3, formed by the fusion of three savings banks, the two lenders said on Thursday.

The acquisition will go ahead once Caja 3's restructuring plans are approved, the banks said.

Ibercaja needs to beef up its capital by 226 million euros ($293 million) to weather a serious downturn of the economy, according to an independent audit released in September, while Caja 3 had needs of 779 million euros.

An early plan to merge three entities - Ibercaja, Liberbank and Caja 3 - was called off after the audit revealed the potential group had a combined deficit gap of 2.1 billion euros. ($1 = 0.7705 euros) (Reporting by Clare Kane; Editing by Fiona Ortiz)

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