London Finance Firm Seeks to Block Portugal Novo Banco Sale

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A failed bidder for Portugal's third-largest lender Novo Banco has asked its lawyers to block the 1 billion euro (836.70 billion pounds) sale to U.S. fund Lone Star and told the central bank it should relaunch the bidding. London-based financial firm Aethel Partners complained to the Bank of Portugal this week in a document viewed by Reuters. It said the central bank had not properly considered its 3.8 billion euro bid when it awarded Novo Banco to Lone Star last month. European Union rules require Portugal to sell the bank by August or it may have to be liquidated, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. The move by Aethel threatens to further complicate a transaction that is already snagged on a separate legal dispute involving some of Novo Banco's creditors. The sale is one of the Socialist government's biggest headaches and could impose costs on a country that made huge efforts to cut its budget deficit since the eurozone debt crisis when it had to be bailed out. Read more. (Subscription required.)