ECONOMY

Eurobank board to clear sale of FPS to Italy’s doValue, banking sources say

eurobank-board-to-clear-sale-of-fps-to-italy-amp-8217-s-dovalue-banking-sources-say

The board of Greek lender Eurobank will meet on Thursday to approve a deal to sell a majority stake in the bank’s loan servicing unit FPS to Italy’s biggest loan recovery firm doValue, banking sources told Reuters.

The Italian firm has secured an 80 percent stake in Financial Planning Services (FPS), the sources said.

“Negotiations were finalised and the agreement will be put to the bank’s board for final approval,” one of the sources said.

The deal values FPS at about 300 million euros, another source added. Mediobanca advised Eurobank while Barclays advised doValue on the deal.

Representatives at FPS, doValue or Eurobank were not immediately available to comment.

DoValue edged ahead of US money manager PIMCO which was also in the race for FPS. PIMCO had previously failed to clinch a deal ahead of a September deadline.

The sale is a key component of clean-up efforts at Greece’s third-biggest bank, which has pledged to quickly cut the impaired loans that comprise more than a third of its total lending portfolio.

Greek banks hold 75 billion euros in impaired loans and are seen following their Italian counterparts, which in recent years have almost halved soured debts on their balance sheets from a post-crisis peak of 350 billion euros.

Bad-loan specialist, doValue, owned by SoftBank-backed Fortress Investment Group, had made a preliminary bid this year but failed to enter into exclusive talks.

The Verona-based firm has operations in Greece and last year clinched a deal with Eurobank and three other lenders to manage 1.8 billion euros in soured corporate loans.

[Reuters]