Unicaja Banco has begun the process towards being listed on the Spanish stock market, and become the first entity from Malaga to do so. A shareholders' meeting is due to be called on 26 April to give the go-ahead to a new share issue, which would lead to 625 million euros of extra share capital and be aimed at Spanish and international investors.
The 625 million shares will increase Unicaja Banco's share capital from 922.8 million euros to over 1.5 billion. The new issue, which has been given the thumbs up by ratings agency Moody's, will represent 40 per cent of the total shares.
The bank intends to include a 'greenshoe option' in its stock market listing, which means it retains the possibility of increasing its initial share offer by a certain percentage, (10 per cent, in this case), if it wishes to do so, for example if there is high demand at the moment the shares go on sale.
Approval from the existing shareholders is a necessary step towards being listed on the 'Bolsa', as the Spanish stock market is known, but the actual date for the stock market launch has not yet been decided as it will depend on market conditions.
This new move will satisfy three of the bank's needs: it will raise the money needed to return the 604 million euros lent by the state to help Unicaja bail out former-savings-bank-group CEISS; fulfil its commitment to CEISS shareholders of finding a way for them to recover their savings; and start to reduce the shareholding of its main shareholder, the Fundación Bancaria Unicaja, to comply with savings bank legislation.