(Adds shares, background)
MADRID May 20 Spanish lender Liberbank
said on Tuesday it was looking to bring in major investors
through an accelerated share placement ahead of a planned
capital raising, which it is carrying out to pay back state aid.
The bank, among lenders which took part of a
41.3-billion-euro ($56.66 billion) European rescue when it was
hurt by a property crash, said it was in talks with various
investors interested in taking a sizeable chunk of its capital.
Liberbank's shares were up almost 5 percent at 1115 GMT,
shortly after trading resumed. The stock was suspended earlier
in the day, pending the announcement.
Spain's Cinco Dias newspaper reported on Tuesday that
Liberbank was in talks with unnamed Mexican investors, who were
looking to take a stake of around 8 percent in the bank.
Liberbank, which declined to give further details of who it
was negotiating with, said in its statement that no deal had yet
Several other Spanish banks have capitalised on the
country's economic recovery to attract foreign investors and
help them boost their financial strength, which is under
scrunity this year in Europe-wide health checks.
Bigger rival Banco Popular last year brought in
Mexican investors at the same time as buying a stake in a small
bank in the Latin American country, striking a deal with Mexico
City-based bank BX+ and its controlling shareholders,
billionaire businessman Antonio del Valle and his family.
Liberbank's main shareholders - a group of saving banks -
could reduce their stake to just under 50 percent through the
accelerated share placement, from around 66 percent now, the
It has simultaneously hired Deutsche Bank to work on a
500-million-euro rights issue, which it will use to repay the
124 million euros in aid it took from Europe in the form of
bonds that can be converted into capital.
($1 = 0.7289 Euros)
(Reporting by Sarah White and Tomas Cobos, editing by Louise