US equity firm makes strongest bid to buy Portuguese bank

Updated 3:24 am, Thursday, January 5, 2017

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s central bank says an offer from U.S. private equity firm Lone Star is the most promising bid to buy Novo Banco, the so-called good bank salvaged by the Portuguese government from the collapse of major lender Banco Espirito Santo.

The Bank of Portugal said late Wednesday it has invited the fund, based in Dallas, Texas, to “deepen negotiations” over the possible purchase, though it said rival bidders have expressed a willingness to improve their offers and would not be excluded.

The statement gave neither price tag nor date for a final decision. It did not name the other bidders.

Novo Banco received 3.9 billion euros (currently $4 billion) from the Portuguese Treasury after Banco Espirito Santo went bankrupt in…

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