BPCE says doesn't plan to make offer for rest of Natixis

PARIS (Reuters) - French co-operative lender BPCE said on Friday it did not intend to file a tender offer for Natixis shares after a media report said it had explored buying the 30% of Natixis SA CNAT.PA it does not already own.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Narixis is seen on a building in Charenton-le-Pont near Paris, France, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The Financial Times had reported the plan was at an early stage and other options were also being considered, with no guarantee a bid for Natixis shares would occur.

“Following recent press rumours, BPCE indicates that it does not intend to file a draft tender offer on the Natixis shares, it being reminded that BPCE regularly conducts strategic analysis on possible changes in the organisation of the group,” BPCE said in a statement.

Natixis Chief Executive Francois Riahi has had a bumpy road since his appointment as CEO in mid 2018.

The bank booked equity derivatives trading losses in late 2018, faced concerns over liquidity and governance at one of its asset management affiliates in 2019 and reported a quarterly loss this year, hit by a spike in provisions for bad loans and frauds, mainly in energy and natural resources.

Following these events, BPCE and Natixis have explored possible options for the insurance and payments businesses of the bank, and a potential buy-out of minority shareholders, a source familiar with the matter said.

However, there are no decisions imminent, the source added.

A spokesman for BPCE declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Natixis.

BPCE, which is unlisted, has worked with advisers on a buyout plan in recent months, the FT report said.

Natixis shares were trading around 2.5 euros on Friday, compared with around 4 euros at the beginning of the year.

Analysts at Deutsche bank and UBS expect Natixis to report on Aug. 3 a loss in second quarter net income due to higher loan-loss provisions.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter