British “vulture fund” launches bid to rattle Novo Banco sale

With the sale of Novo Banco to a US “vulture fund” due to go through any day now, British “vulture fund” Aethel Partners is reported to be preparing a legal case in a bid to stop it.

Aethel arrived on the scene ‘late in the day’, with reports suggesting in February that its offer could not as a result be considered on its own merits (click here).

The terms offered by Aethel, however, were reportedly a great deal better than those under negotiation with Lone Star Funds.

Thus it follows that Aethel is “not happy” (in the words of Jornal de Negocios today).

According to the paper, the company that in 2015 bought Banco Efisa (the investment bank of bankrupted BPN) feels it has been “mislead” and “fed expectations that were impossible to realise”.

Said a source for the institution headquartered in London’s exclusive Berkeley Square, the Bank of Portugal “never refused” Aethel’s offer (at almost €4 billion it was roughly four times larger than the bid agreed with Lone Star Funds), and “even fed expectations” given that the central bank’s financial assessor asked Aethel for “clarification” of its terms.

Wikipedia describes Aethel Partners as “an active partner of bankruptcy trade”, while it dubs Lone Star as a “private equity firm that invests in distressed assets”.

According to banking jargon both these descriptions fit “vulture funds”, which Wikipedia describe as funds that invest in debt “considered to be very weak or in default”.

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