Banco Popular appoints STJ to key rights issue

David Hellier
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BANCO Popular Espanol, the Spanish lender that is seeking to raise as much as €2.5bn (£2bn) in a make or break share sale, has appointed STJ Advisors, the London-based equity advisory group, to advise on the deal.

The Spanish bank is believed to have hired STJ to help it draw up a syndicate of banks but some say the appointment has caused friction because STJ is known for seeking a lot of investor information the banks deem to be time-consuming to provide.

STJ was one of the equity advisers to the controversial IPO of Bankia. Several months after the share issue, Bankia was nationalised, leaving many outraged shareholders out of pocket. Reports last night suggested that Banco Popular plans to hire at least 10 banks to guarantee the offering.

Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan will probably run the sale. Over a dozen other banks have been approached, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup. and UBS.

Popular, Spain’s sixth-largest lender, should announce the names of underwriters today. The bank needs to raise the extra funds to avoid being nationalised after failing a stress test earlier this year.