Bakers and Clifford Chance help to mop up Spanish banking sector

The UK banking sector has generated rich pickings for corporate lawyers over the past few years, with deals including the Co-op Group’s split and Lloyds’ reprivatisation.

Over in Spain, the banking sector is also in the midst of a wave of transactions that are helping it to get back on track. The latest of these took the form of Catalunya Banc’s sale to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) last week.

Baker & McKenzie stepped up to advise the nationalised Catalunya Banc and the country’s official bank bailout fund FROB on the sale, having already had a hand in a number of Spanish bank deals thanks to mandates from FROB and Spain’s ‘bad bank’ SAREB. The acquiring bank BBVA sought advice from its trusted advisers Garrigues.

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance played a supporting role in the deal, advising private equity giant Blackstone on the acquisition of Catalunya Banc’s enormous mortgage portfolio worth €6.39bn. This deal represents the latest in an increasing amount of real estate work won by the magic circle firm for the private equity giant over the past couple of years.

With further transactions for bailed-out banks in the pipeline, the sector looks likely to keep global dealmakers on their toes for some time to come.

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