CaixaBank SA : Bankia Chairman Denies Report On CaixaBank Merger Talks
02/08/2012| 03:43am US/Eastern
Bankia SA (BKIA.MC) Chairman Rodrigo Rato Wednesday denied that the Spanish bank had been close to agreeing a merger with peer CaixaBank SA (>> CaixaBank SA) in December last year, as was reported earlier by El Mundo.
"Those details are wrong," Rato said on the sidelines of an event in Madrid, when asked about the newspaper report, which said Bankia and CaixaBank had informed both Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalonian President Arthur Mas about a potential merger in December.
"I have a very good personal and professional relationship with [CaixaBank Chairman] Isidro Faine, but I haven't gone with him to the Moncloa [the Spanish government headquarters] nor to the palace of the Catalan government to discuss a merger, not in December nor at any other time," Rato said.
El Mundo reports that talks were so advanced that Rato and Faine had decided that Faine would chair the merged bank, while Rato would chair the resulting industrial holding company. But then the discussions cooled, the newspaper says.
-By Pablo Dominguez; EFE-Dow Jones; +34913958123; email@example.com
(Christopher Bjork contributed to this article.)