April 10, 2015 / 4:45 PM / 5 years ago

Goldman, investors file lawsuit in $835 mln BES loan fight

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and investors including hedge fund Elliott Management have joined a legal battle over an $835 million loan made to Banco Espirito Santo weeks before it collapsed last year.

The lawsuits, filed in a London court, relate to a special purpose vehicle, Oak Finance Luxembourg SA, set up by Goldman Sachs to raise funds for Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo .

The dispute has been rumbling for months over the division of the assets between the “good bank” and “bad bank” of BES after it was rescued.

Goldman and some of its clients lent BES $835 million last July using an entity it created called Oak Finance. After the Bank of Portugal rescued BES with a 4.9 billion euro ($5.6 billion) package in August, it carved out a working bank, Novo Banco, and a legacy entity that kept the exposure to debts and is being wound down. The loan was kept in the “bad bank”.

A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the bank had filed a lawsuit.

“The Bank of Portugal’s decision not to restore Oak Finance’s obligations to Novo Banco was based on factual errors and violates basic principles of due process and fairness,” the spokeswoman said.

The Portuguese central bank said in a statement in February the Oak Finance loan was not transferred to Novo Banco because it had “serious and well-grounded reasons to consider that Oak Finance acted for the account of Goldman Sachs International”.

Goldman had to write down its loan to BES in the fourth quarter, sources have said.

Oak Finance investors, including Elliott, filed a separate lawsuit in London dated March 10 and released this week, saying Novo Banco should have to repay them about $613 million, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

It said the investors were represented by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. The law firm and Elliott did not immediately return calls for comment. (Reporting by Steve Slater and Nishant Kumar, editing by David Evans)

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