TBS takeover brings UK opportunities: Sabadell

CNBC with Reuters
Sabadell: TSB is good bank, in good UK market

The planned takeover of U.K. bank TSB provides an opportunity to move into the British market, the chairman of Spain's Sabadell bank said Friday, although he declined to say whether other banks were on its shopping list.

British bank TSB said earlier on Friday it had agreed to be taken over by Banco Sabadell, Spain's fifth-biggest bank, in a deal which values the business at 1.7 billion pounds ($2.5 billion).

"We like the U.K. and U.K. markets and we saw a good bank with good margins. We've seen an opportunity with TSB," Sabadell Chairman Josep Oliu told CNBC, adding that TSB's strong branch network was a big draw.

Lloyds Banking Group, which holds a 50 percent stake in TSB, said it had agreed to sell a 9.99 percent shareholding to Sabadell and had given an irrevocable undertaking to sell the remainder of its stake to the fifth largest Spanish bank.

Peter Macdiarmid | Getty Images

The group will have a number of opportunities if it decides to accelerate growth through more acquisitions. Sabadell is having to raise 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) to finance the TSB deal and the need for further funding could hold it back.

Clydesdale Bank has been put up for sale by its owner National Australia Bank. New bank OneSavings said this week it would listen to takeover offers while the government is selling $13 billion of home loans held by bailed out Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.

Asked whether the Spanish bank was considering absorbing any other British banks, Oliu said: "We go step-by-step."

He added that mortgages and loans to small and medium sized enterprises were areas of growth for TSB that Sabadell was exploring.

Sabadell is offering 340 pence per TSB share, a 29 percent premium to their price the day before its approach was announced and compared with the 260p at which Lloyds sold a first tranche of shares in June last year.

TSB shares were up 2 percent at 333.6p by 1040 GMT and Sabadell was up 2.7 percent.

TSB is currently Britain's seventh biggest lender with 631 branches and a 4.3 percent market share.

Reuters contributed to this story