HSBC’s French branches draw €2.1bn offer

February 29, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Posted in economy, finance | Leave a comment
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By FT Reporters

HSBC, the London-based international banking group, on Friday said it had received a €2.1bn (£1.6bn, $3.2bn) offer for its seven regional banking subsidiaries in France from Banque Populaire.

It said it had entered into exclusive discussions with Banque Populaire over the proposed sale of the seven units, which between them have some 400 branches and employ 2,950 people. HSBC said the price under discussion represented a multiple of 21 times 2007 earnings after tax.

The regional banks account for less than 40 per cent of HSBC’s personal customers in France and generated less than 20 per cent of the bank’s pre-tax profits in France for 2007.

Stephen Green, HSBC group chairman, said in a statement: “Banque Populaire has outlined a strategy for the banks which would make it a good owner for both customers and staff with a strong respect for the traditions of the banks.

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