HSBC has struck a new deal to sell its French retail banking presence.
The bank will hold onto a €7 billion ($7.6 billion) portfolio of home loans it had initially expected to sell to Cerberus-backed My Money Bank, it announced Wednesday.
Cerberus, for its part, will pour €225 million of additional capital into My Money Group. And HSBC will receive a profit participation interest of 1.25 times the amount invested, in exchange for putting up to €407 million into My Money Group’s top holding company.
HSBC predicts it will incur a pretax loss of up to $2.7 billion under the renegotiated deal, which is expected to close Jan. 1. That’s up from $2.3 billion under terms agreed in 2021. As much as $2.2 billion of the loss will be recognized in the bank’s first-half results, it said.
“The changes do not alter the underlying rationale for the transaction, which will allow HSBC Continental Europe to focus on its international wholesale business model,” the bank said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.
HSBC’s exit from France has been a drawn-out endeavor. The British lender kicked off the sale of its French retail operations in January 2020, months after it told Reuters it had no plans to do so. As negotiations dragged on, Cerberus and a rival told the bank they would buy the French retail arm for a symbolic €1 if the bank were to invest €500 million into the business. It was later agreed instead that HSBC would ensure the business had a net asset value of $2 billion at the time of transfer.
The deal was thrown into doubt in April, when HSBC said “significant interest rate rises since the sale terms were agreed and the related fair value accounting treatment on acquisition have made completion by the Purchaser Group less certain.”
HSBC said it might still look to sell the €7 billion home-loan portfolio at a later date but added Wednesday it would incur an extra $100 million from holding onto those loans.
The transaction can be extended to Nov. 29 in certain circumstances, the bank said.
France is just one market HSBC has sought to exit in recent years as part of a strategy emphasizing its commitment to Asia. The bank in May 2021 agreed to sell 80 of its 148 U.S. branches to Providence, Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank, and another 10 to Los Angeles-based Cathay Bank.
It also agreed in November to sell its Canada unit to Royal Bank of Canada for $10 billion but warned last month it expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2024, rather than late this year, as originally projected.