Five financial companies have contacted the resolution committee of the savings bank SPRON with their interest in acquiring the bank’s assets. SPRON was nationalized along with Sparisjódsbankinn (formerly Icebank) last weekend.
The SPRON branch on Borgartún in Reykjavík. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.
All of SPRON’s branches will be closed and nearly 300 people are expected to lose their jobs in the process. SPRON’s deposit accounts have been relocated to the new state-run Kaupthing Bank, Morgunbladid reports.
One of the companies interested is MP Bank. The bank’s chairman, Margeir Pétursson, said SPRON enjoys considerable goodwill and that its employees are skilled. He hopes that some jobs can be saved if his offer is accepted.
According to Morgunbladid, Pétursson is interested in taking over part of SPRON’s operations, including its subsidiary Netbankinn, nb.is. Investment bank VBS has also expressed interest in Netbankinn as well as in part of SPRON’s branch network.
For now, Netbankinn’s deposit accounts have also been relocated to Kaupthing.
Jón Thórisson, CEO of VBS, stated that VBS’s acquisition of Netbankinn would support VBS’s operations, which owes ISK 26 billion (USD 228 million, EUR 168 million) to the Icelandic state.
“It would improve the operating basis of VBS and increase its value. It would also increase our opportunity to repay the loan from the state. The loan granter must be satisfied about that,” Thórisson said.
Pétursson, however, described VBS’s offer as “unbelievably immoral” when the ink has barely dried on its agreement with the state on the ISK 26 billion debt that was created in a so-called repurchase agreement between VBS and the Central Bank. Pétursson is confident that VBS’s offer won’t even be considered.
The SPRON resolution committee has requested that those interested in taking over SPRON’s assets and operations submit their offers by 12 noon today.
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