Add Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria to the list of foreign banks unloading U.S. banking assets.
The company announced Thursday that it is selling its banking operations in Puerto Rico to Oriental Financial Group (OFG) in San Juan for $500 million in cash.
BBVA Puerto Rico has $5.2 billion of assets and 36 branches in the island. The deal, which follows Oriental's acquisition of the Puerto Rican assets of the failed Eurobank in 2010, would create Puerto Rico's third-largest bank, with nearly $12 billion of assets, and more than 60 branches.
Jose Rafael Fernandez, Oriental's president and chief executive, said in a press release that the deal, scheduled to close by yearend, "combines two of the healthiest banks" in Puerto Rico.
Oriental has agreed to pay a price equal to 1.03 times of BBVA PR's tangible book value, or equity excluding goodwill and intangibles.
Oriental intends to pay for the transaction with $350 million of cash on hand, through a placement of $84 million in preferred stock expected to close on July 3, and a separate issuance of $65 million to $70 million in preferred and common equity.
Oriental also intends to sell $1.3 billion of its investment securities prior to closing and to have BBVA PR liquidate $450 million in securities to as part of an overall capital management plan.
BBVA's Spanish parent owns BBVA USA Bancshares, a $65 billion-asset Houston bank holding company that operates BBVA Compass in Birmingham. There has been speculation that Spain's economic woes would compel BBVA to unload BBVA Compass or other stateside banking assets.
In the last year, Toronto's Royal Bank of Canada and Amsterdam's ING Groep have also sold large U.S. depositories.