July 21, 2009

Spanish bank mulls Mellon United takeover

Spain's Banco Sabadell S.A. said Tuesday it was studying Florida banks for acquisition and was most interested in buying Miami's Mellon United National Bank.

The Spanish financial Web site El Confidencial said Banco Sabadell was finalizing details to buy Mellon United, part of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., for about $200 million. No deal has yet been made, a spokesman said.

The Miami Herald said Banco Sabadell was expected to buy the bank.

The newspaper said the selling price would be about half the $400 million that Mellon Financial Corp. paid when it bought United National Bank from Miami banker Gerald Katcher in 1998.

Sabadell bought Miami's TransAtlantic Bank in 2007.

Bank of New York Mellon, formed in 2007 when Mellon merged with the Bank of New York, has been selling off commercial banking operations to focus on wealth management and private banking, the Herald said.

Spanish banks, in turn, have been buying Florida banks to provide a base for their operations in Latin America and to service Spanish companies doing business in the United States.

Banco Sabadell is based in Sabadell, Spai, the second largest city in Catalonia whose capital is Barcelona. It is part of the Banco Sabadell Group, Spain's No. 4 commercial banking group after Banco Santander, BBVA and Banco Popular Espanol.