Changes in Groupe BPCE’s overseas network
In pursuit of the goals laid down in its strategic plan “Growing differently”, Groupe BPCE has announced plans to modify the structure of its overseas euro-area holdings with the possible sale of all the equity interests held by BPCE International et Outre-Mer (BPCE IOM) in Banque de la Réunion, Banque des Antilles Françaises and Banque de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon to Caisse d’Epargne Provence-Alpes-Corse (CEPAC), which has already expressed its interest in this transaction.
 Groupe BPCE would like to remind readers of this press release that, at the time of publication, BPCE IOM holds:
· 100% of the capital and voting rights of Banque des Antilles Françaises,
· 88.9% of the capital and voting rights of Banque de la Réunion (a company listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange – Compartment C), and
· 86.2% of the capital and voting rights of Banque de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
If these plans go ahead, they would allow the following in particular:
- To organize the Group’s presence in the overseas euro area around its two large retail networks: the Banque Populaire banks and the Caisses d’Epargne,
- To take full advantage of the major complementary strengths possessed by CEPAC and the overseas banks involved in this transaction in terms of clientele, customer base and geographical presence,
- To give these entities the resources they need to continue investing in their organizational and technological structures with a view to facing the digital challenges of the future
- To refocus BPCE IOM on local banking activities in the international arena.
François Pérol, Chairman of the Management Board of Groupe BPCE said: “this operation would create value for Groupe BPCE by allowing it to enhance the legibility of its activities in the overseas euro area and promote their future development. Ultimately, it would make CEPAC, which has been present in these regions since 1996, a front-ranking player focused on providing its cooperative shareholders and customers with long-term support.”
Alain Lacroix, Chairman of the CEPAC Management Board, said: “Over the past five years, CEPAC has been implementing ambitious development plans in the French West Indies and Reunion Island. By combining its own strengths and expertise with the know-how of the teams working for Banque de la Réunion, Banque des Antilles Françaises and Banque de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, CEPAC will be able to pursue a future long-term growth strategy for the benefit of the men and women living in this part of the world.”
The plan was presented to the respective Works Councils of BPCE IOM, CEPAC and of the entities concerned by this initiative on October 1st, 2014.
When the information/consultation procedures involving the different works councils have been completed and provided that the different parties reach agreement about the terms and conditions of the plan, BPCE IOM will file a simplified public tender offer – followed, in the event of success, by a compulsory buyout – for the listed shares of Banque de la Réunion. Assuming that these plans go ahead, the price offered by the bidder, BPCE IOM – on the basis of information currently in its possession – will be 142.6 euros per share, representing a premium of 34% above the share price when trading closed on October 1st, 2014. Compared to the average 1 and 3-month prices weighted to account for varying volumes before this date, the premiums would amount to 35% and 46% respectively.
In compliance with the regulations of the AMF French financial market authority, the fairness of the offer for Banque de la Réunion shareholders – from a financial point of view and in the light of a possible compulsory buyout of outstanding shares – will be examined by an independent expert appointed by the Banque de la Réunion Board of Directors.
Should the parties reach an agreement, the operation could be finalized in the first half of 2015 provided that all the necessary authorizations are obtained and the information/consultation procedures involving the employees’ representative bodies of the entities concerned have been completed.
The Caisse d’Epargne Provence-Alpes-Corse pursues its activities in 9 French départements: Bouches du Rhône, Vaucluse, Alpes de Haute Provence, Hautes Alpes, Haute Corse, Corse du Sud, Réunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Its 2 million customers are served by the bank’s 2,750 employees, 268 branches and 10 business centers. Apart from providing local banking services, CEPAC offers a wide range of specialized service to corporations and local authorities, to companies active in the social economy, social housing bodies, mixed-economy companies and real-estate professional.