Mar 17, 2021

HSBC in talks to sell French retail network to Cerberus subsidiary

HSBC is in final negotiations to sell its French retail network to a subsidiary of US private equity firm Cerberus, as the bank continues to dispose of underperforming assets in the west and sharpen its strategic focus on Asia. Advisers have previously suggested that the sale of the 230 retail branches in France could be for a token amount, and said that HSBC might have to recapitalise the French network by as much as €500m as part of an agreement. HSBC arrived in France in 2000 when it bought Crédit Commercial de France for €11bn. For HSBC, the sale of its French retail network would remove roughly 4,000 employees from its payroll. Concerns over steep restructuring costs have led other major French banks to demur from bidding, leaving Cerberus as one of the few options on the table, the people familiar said. Talks also took place back in 2017 with another private equity firm, AnaCap Financial Partners, which had previously taken over Barclays' French retail network, according to other people familiar with the deal.

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