CaixaBank has bought Banca Civica for EUR977m ($1.3bn), leading
to the creation of Spain’s leading financial group by assets with

The merger is expected to be completed in the third quarter of
this year, generating EUR540m in potential synergies as of

The merged bank will have 14m customers and an
average Spanish market share in deposits of 14%, in customer loans
of 13.4% and in total assets of 10.5%.

The four savings banks that are currently
shareholders in Banca Cívica will become CaixaBank shareholders,
while Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, la Caixa, retains
its majority control with 61%.

The bank’s Welfare Projects will be reinforced via partnership
agreements in regions local to Banca Cívica shareholders.

According to CaixaBank, the merger will help
to consolidate the restructuring of the Spanish banking sector, by
creating a leading bank in the Spanish financial system with an
extensive regional presence, which will help support the country’s
economic development.

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Chairman of CaixaBank, Isidro Fainé, said,
“Banca Cívica’s business model, geographic presence, staff quality,
customer profile and social commitment are complementary with those
of CaixaBank.

“The operation creates value for shareholders
of both banks, generating a bank with solid growth potential and a
stronger future for CaixaBank amid a particularly difficult market
climate, while providing security to those benefitting from the
community work run by both CaixaBank and Banca Cívica.”

Vice-Chairman and CEO of CaixaBank, Juan María
Nin, said the transaction “will allow CaixaBank to meet the targets
of its strategic plan by bringing forward anticipated organic
growth by some years, generating significant synergies in the
medium term, strengthening the balance sheet, driving up turnover,
improving earnings per share and maintaining our dividends
Co-chairman of Banca Cívica, Antonio Pulido, said:

“We share the same philosophy with regards to
optimising our welfare projects, which will be felt in the home
regions of the savings banks that created Banca Cívica, in what is
an unequivocal sign of commitment to our roots and history, now
joined together with the country’s leading bank.”

The merger of CaixaBank and Banca Cívica will
generate synergies from the outset, which are set to total EUR540m
per year after the third year of integration. Restructuring costs
are estimated at EUR1.1bn net of taxes.

According to CaixaBank, the capacity to
implement welfare projects will benefit from a stronger lender and
greater potential for growth and earnings, while projects will also
be reinforced within the areas of influence of the savings banks
within Banca Cívica.

la Caixa’s community work currently has a 2012
budget of EUR500m.