May 22 Portuguese conglomerate Espirito Santo
International SA plans to offload assets to plug holes in its
accounts created by alleged irregularities recently uncovered by
auditors, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Thursday,
citing an official familiar with the situation.
The WSJ reported an international hotel and resort chain as
assets that would be sold by the Espirito Santo International,
which partly owns Portugal's largest listed bank, Banco Espirito
Santo SA (BES).
Espirito Santo International holds 49 percent of Espirito
Santo Financial Group SA, which in turn holds 27.5
percent of BES.
BES's shares plummeted on Wednesday after the bank issued a
prospectus for a capital increase and listed potential risks
around the operation. The bank warned of "reputational risks"
because an external auditor had found irregularities in ESI's
accounts and concluded that the company "represents a serious
The conglomerate is not in danger of defaulting on its
obligations, although it is looking to sell 1 billion euro
($1.37 billion) in non-financial assets this year to raise
funds. These included its Tivoli Hotels & Resorts chain in
Portugal and Brazil, the official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, told the daily.
The WSJ cited the official familiar with the situation as
saying the alleged irregularities stem from the Portuguese
conglomerate's failure to correctly consolidate some of its
According to the Journal, the official is with the Espirito
Espirito Santo International could not be reached for a
comment outside of normal business hours.
($1 = 0.7323 Euros)
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore. Editing by Andre