Credit Agricole to sell key equity unit
Paris, December 16, 2011
French bank Credit Agricole SA has agreed to sell its private equity unit to Coller Capital, a UK-based firm which specialises in buying private equity assets which other firms wish to divest.
The sale will reduce the risk-weighted assets of Credit Agricole - which earlier this week announced its second profit warning of the year - by 900 million euros ($1.2 billion), it said in a statement on Friday.
A spokeswoman for Credit Agricole declined to provide financial details of the deal.
The bank, which expanded its global footprint through acquisitions up to the 2008 financial crisis, is trying to reduce its financing needs by 50 billion euros by the end of 2012.
Credit Agricole and French rivals have been hit by a liquidity drought even as they struggle to lower risk and boost their financial strength to comply with tough new capital regulations.
On Tuesday, Credit Agricole said it would post a full-year loss after taking 2.5 billion in writedowns for goodwill and the declining values of its equity stakes in Spain's Bankinter and Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo.-Reuters