Canadian Scotiabank (NYSE: BNS) is close to purchase the US private equity firm Advent’s stakes in Uruguay's third largest private sector bank Nuevo Banco Comercial (NBC) and consumer credit company Pronto!, was reported Thursday in Montevideo.
Earlier this week, the Canadian bank made an at least 250 million US dollars offer for Advent's 54% stake in NBC and 80% stake in Pronto! The deadline for the offer was part of a confidentiality agreement that allowed the Canadian bank to look at the books of both NBC and Pronto! in more detail, which both parties signed last month.
Talks are being held in Buenos Aires, at one of Advent's three offices in Latin America, according to weekly Busqueda.
NBC was created in March 2003 from the assets of three local banks that were intervened in and suspended as a result of a run on deposits during the country's financial crisis in 2002. In September 2005, the government sold NBC for 167 million USD to a syndicate led by Advent.
Other NBC shareholders include Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments with a 24% stake, German development financial institution DEG and the Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO with 10% each, and 2% held by Argentine group Tecevall.
Advent acquired an 80% stake in Pronto! from a group of local investors in 2007, in tandem with Argentine financial services group Grupo Servicios y Transacciones (GST).
This is not the first time Advent has tried to sell NBC. In June 2008, the US firm and Colombia's Gilinski group ended talks over NBC due to differences over the price.
NBC had 28.5 billion pesos (1.42 billion USD) in assets as of September 30. The bank booked a 24.3 million peso loss in January-September, according to central bank figures.