Potential bidders for Spain's NCG Banco seek data ahead of auction
MADRID (Reuters) - Five potential bidders for Spain's bailed-out NCG Banco are performing due diligence on the lender ahead of a possible auction, the director general of the country's bank rescue fund FROB said on Wednesday.
The database containing details of NCG's assets was opened to five Spanish groups last week, FROB's Antonio Carrascosa said. The interested parties have four weeks to examine the data, after which they can present non-binding bids before deciding whether to proceed with a formal auction.
"We're finalizing contacts with management to elaborate and revise (NCG's) business plan ... and the expected loss estimate for us as sellers," Carrascosa said, adding that the FROB is sure that NCG does not require additional public funds.
Carrascosa did not name the five potential buyers, though banking sources have said that Santander (SAN.MC), Spain's largest bank, and La Caixa (CABK.MC) have hired advisers. BBVA (BBVA.MC) is also seen as a possible bidder.
He added that one investment fund and two or three other international companies have also shown interest in Galicia-based NCG Banco, but that these organizations are unlikely to ask for access to the NCG database.
Nationalised Catalunya Banc, meanwhile, may be put on the block later in the year and Carrascosa said the FROB is hoping to open the database for that bank around mid-November.
An attempt to sell Catalunya Banc earlier in the year failed when potential bidders asked for more state funds or protection against future loan losses.
Carrascosa said that the nationalised banks could also be sold off in parts, including portfolios of loans.
(Reporting By Sarah White; Editing by Paul Day and David Goodman)
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