Christian's Feed
Jan 31, 2013

Carlyle, KKR among Maje, Sandro bidders: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – Private equity firms including Carlyle (CG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and KKR (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) this week submitted non-binding offers for control of French fashion brands Maje, Sandro and Claudie Pierlot, sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

The auction of the brands, known for their trendy and affordable ready-to-wear garments, has generated close interest in part because of a dearth of similar assets of that size on the market, one of the sources said.

Jan 25, 2013

Credit Agricole Bankinter stake sale offset by charge

PARIS (Reuters) – Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sold a 5.2 percent stake in Spain’s Bankinter (BKT.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), continuing its strategy to refocus on domestic operations, but saw profit from the deal eclipsed by a big charge as its owners revalued their Agricole holding.

Credit Agricole is controlled by a network of French regional banks via holding company SAS Rue La Boetie. The banks have adjusted the value of their stake to account for a drop in Agricole’s shares which despite recent gains are worth less than half the price of their December 2001 initial public offering.

Jan 16, 2013

SocGen says writedowns and debt provisions loom

PARIS (Reuters) – Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday that its quarterly earnings would be hit by hundreds of millions of euros of one-off charges.

The bank said it would write down an unspecified portion of 384 million euros ($510.58 million) in goodwill on its balance sheet for brokerage Newedge in the fourth quarter, and would take a charge on its own debt of more than 605 million euros.

Jan 16, 2013

SocGen knocks shares with warning of fourth quarter pain

PARIS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Societe Generale shares
fell as much as 4.9 percent on Wednesday after the French bank’s
outgoing chief financial officer told analysts about
fourth-quarter write-downs and rising loan losses.

Bertrand Badre, who is leaving in March to join the World
Bank, said at a private dinner on Tuesday the bank faced a
goodwill impairment from restructuring brokerage Newedge of
between 200 million euros to 384 million euros and an accounting
loss on its own debt of up to 1 billion ($1.33 billion),
according to analysts who attended.

Dec 20, 2012

Credit Agricole wrestles with Italy loan unit losses

PARIS/MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) – French bank Credit Agricole
, having paid billions of euros to extricate itself
from an ill-fated Greek acquisition, is now struggling with
rising loan losses in Italy.

Its 19 billion euro ($25.2 billion) Italian consumer credit
unit Agos Ducato, the latest of a series of soured foreign bets,
is already reeling and Agricole last month took a shock 572
million euro quarterly goodwill provision for the unit.

Dec 18, 2012

Exclusive – CDC, Abu Dhabi build jumbo consortium for Total’s TIGF

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – French state bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) has teamed up with Abu Dhabi investment fund ADIA ADIAIN.UL to form a powerful consortium to bid for Total’s (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) TIGF gas network business, sources said.

The move increases pressure on rival contenders for TIGF, which sources say is worth 2.5 billion euros (1.98 billion pounds), as a late-January deadline for final bids approaches, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Nov 30, 2012

Draft French bank reform falls short of revolution

PARIS, Nov 30 (Reuters) – French banks will be able to adapt
easily to changes proposed by President Francois Hollande and
will escape the more stringent measures being adopted by the
United States and Britain.

“This is really not ‘finance as the enemy’,” said Fabrice
Asvazadourian, a consultant at Roland Berger in Paris, referring
to the softening of Hollande’s stance towards the industry since
his anti-bank election campaign.

Nov 20, 2012

Carrefour divests Indonesia unit stake to partner for $673 mln

PARIS/JAKARTA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Carrefour is
selling its 60 percent stake in its Indonesian supermarket
operations to local partner CT Corp for $673 million, the latest
move by the European retailer to retreat from secondary markets.

The world’s No. 2 retailer after Wal-Mart Corp has
been reducing its presence elsewhere in Asia, part of a plan to
cut debt and refocus on core operations. It sold its Malaysian
operations last month to Aeon, Japan’s No. 1
supermarket operator, and has said it would close its two stores
in Singapore.

Nov 12, 2012

SocGen nears sale of Egypt arm to QNB -sources

DUBAI/PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Societe Generale
is close to reaching a final agreement on selling its majority
stake in its Egyptian banking arm to Qatar National Bank
(QNB), sources aware of the matter said on Monday.

The Qatari bank, part-owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth
fund, will also make a mandatory offer to minority shareholders
for the remaining 23 percent of National Societe Generale Bank
(NSGB), the sources said.

Nov 12, 2012

French firms tap private US lenders as banks run dry

PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Listed on the French stock market
based in a suburb of Paris, mailroom equipment maker Neopost
is an unlikely trailblazer in international debt

But by tapping the U.S. private debt market, it has shown
the way for a growing band of small and medium-sized French
companies that need dollars to do business in the United States.

    • About Christian

      "New York-based editor in charge of banks, exchanges, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds coverage as well as separate team that reports on mergers and acquisitions. Previously led aerospace and defense team, also in New York. Was initially hired by Reuters in Milan, where I covered banks and insurers. Before that I was at Bloomberg for 8 years, including a 3 year stint in Sao Paulo."
    • Follow Christian