LISBON (Reuters) - Spain’s Caixabank and Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos failed to reach an agreement on their shareholdings in Banco BPI, leaving the Portuguese bank with a costly exposure to the Angolan market, BPI said on Sunday.
Caixabank and dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s president, said a week ago they had reached an agreement but the deal came undone after efforts to list BPI’s Angolan banking unit BFA failed. BPI said dos Santos had failed to live up to the deal.
Caixabank and dos Santos are BPI’s two largest shareholders and the Spanish bank has been trying to buy her out and gain full control of BPI for at least a year.
“After April 10, (dos Santos’s holding company) Santoro Finance disrespected what had been agreed and made requests for changes to the contractual documents,” BPI said in a statement. “As a consequence, BPI informs that the agreement announced on April is without effect.”
Caixabank would not comment.
Under the previous agreement, Caixabank - BPI’s biggest shareholder with a 44 percent stake - would buy dos Santos’s 18.6 percent stake in BPI and she would in turn acquire BFA, reducing BPI’s exposure to the Angolan market.
April 10 was the date when new European rules kicked in requiring banks to fully provision for exposure to Angola. Failure to do so will lead to daily fines by the European Central Bank.
BPI said the bank was now in contact with the ECB “to find an alternative,” without giving further details.
Santoro said in a statement on Saturday that dos Santos had wanted BFA’s shares to be listed in Lisbon, something Portuguese regulators opposed.
BPI owns 50.1 percent of Angolan bank BFA while Unitel, the Angolan telecom firm dos Santos controls jointly with state oil company Sonangol, holds 49.9 percent.
Before reaching the deal, the two parties had been at loggerheads for months after dos Santos blocked the Spanish bank’s bid last year for the 56 percent of BPI it did not already own.
Share trading in BPI had been suspended all last week pending full confirmation of the agreement.
Reporting by Axel Bugge; Editing by Andrew Bolton