Spain’s Ibercaja could begin IPO as early as January, source says

Band Jesus Aguado

MADRID, December 14 (Reuters)Spanish bank Ibercaja is in contact with advisers about a possible initial public offering (IPO) as early as January, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, fulfilling its legal obligation to go public.

Former savings banks like Ibercaja have until the end of next year to go public or raise funds to reduce stakes held by foundations as part of a post-crisis bailout for Spanish banks 2012 financial.

“The bank has reconnected with potential investors and analysts and is currently in contact with advisers to sound out a market start in January, which is one of the first windows to start the process,” the source said.

Ibercaja’s board has yet to approve the launch of the investor tour in January, the source said, adding that March and May are also under consideration.

Ibercaja, which has total assets of 58 billion euros ($65.6 billion), declined to comment.

Lender chairman Jose Luis Aguirre said in April that Ibercaja remained committed to listing its shares by the end of 2022, and chief executive Victor Iglesias said last month that first-half market windows would be “most favourable”. .

The Expansion newspaper, which first broke news of a potential roadshow in January, said Ibercaja could be valued between 1.65 and 2.1 billion euros, or between 0.5 and 0, 65 times its book value of 3.3 billion euros.

Rival Unicaja UNI.MC has a market value of 2.16 billion and trades at 0.54 times its book value.

Last week, Ibercaja said it aimed to increase its rate of return on tangible equity (ROTE) from 7.2% to around 9% in the medium term through measures to reduce costs and fees from its sectors. most profitable activities.

In 2013, the bank took over smaller rival Caja 3 in a series of bank mergers aimed at bolstering a sector weakened by the bursting of a decade-long housing bubble.

Ibercaja did not take any state aid, but Caja 3 received 407 million euros in European funds, which it has already repaid.

Rothschild ROTH.PA works as an advisor on proposed IPO, with Morgan Stanley MS.N and JP Morgan JPM.N global bookrunners.

The three investment banks declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8843 euros)

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado Additional reporting by Andrés González Editing by Emma Pinedo and David Goodman)

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