July 17, 2020 / 3:42 PM / 17 days ago

Natixis owner BPCE has explored buying rest of French bank - FT

FILE PHOTO: People enter the BPCE bank headquarters in Paris, France, September 24, 2015. A French court on Thursday acquitted BPCE bank Chairman Francois Perol of accusations of having an illegal conflict of interest when he was appointed in 2009 head of France's second-biggest retail bank because he was a presidential advisor. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

(Reuters) - French co-operative lender BPCE has explored buying the 30% of Natixis SA it does not already own, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the situation.

BPCE, which is unlisted, had worked with advisers on a buyout plan in recent months, the report on.ft.com/3fDx3FV said.

The deal was at an early stage, the FT report said, adding that other options were also being considered and there was no guarantee that a bid for Natixis shares would occur.

BPCE did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, while Natixis declined to comment.

Natixis is planning to restructure its business and will merge its commodities and infrastructure operations to focus on clean energy, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources. The move has been accelerated by a series of loss-making loans to oil traders.

Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Maya Nikolaeva in Paris; Editing by Maju Samuel

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