Major Spanish bank Caixa has sold its entire 9.92 percent stake in Austria’s Erste Group for 1.503 billion euros. The bank announced this on Thursday. With Caixa out, the union of Austrian core shareholders around the Erste Foundation, Sparkasse Group and Wiener Städtische may have lost the outlawed minority in the country’s leading financial institution.
Caixabank is linked to the Austrian primary shareholders in a joint agreement. At the end of October, I informed the union leader Erste Stiftung of the planned exit. The foundation said at the time that the union was a “decisive and stable shareholder in the Erste Group” even after the Spaniards left the company with a stake of more than 20 percent.
Caixabank announced that the sale had a positive aggregate effect of €54 million on its income statement. The Spanish bank sold nearly 23.3 million common shares, representing 5.42 percent of the shares, through an accelerated book-building offer at €38 per share. In addition, it canceled equity swaps in respect of the remaining 19.3 million shares, which equals 4.5 percent. It was not clear who acquired the shares.
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