NEW YORK (Reuters) – City Group (NYSE:) is in preliminary talks with potential buyers of its Mexican consumer banking business Citibanamex, executives said Thursday, warning that the sale will be complex and could take a few quarters to complete.
Citi revealed in January that it was looking to offload the unit, one of the leading consumer banks in the Latin American country, which has struggled to cut costs as it seeks to become more competitive against competitors such as Spain’s BBVA (BME 🙂 and Santander. (BME). :).
Jane Fraser, the group’s chief executive, told analysts the bank had “caught a lot of interest” in its conversations with buyers, describing the deal as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Several potential bidders have appeared to search for the assets, including the Mexican Grupo Financial Banorte (BMV :).
Mark Mason, Citigroup’s chief financial officer, told reporters that recent geopolitical events may make the franchise more attractive to others than it was when the company first announced its intention to sell it.
The executives added that the exit process was complex and could include an initial public offering.
(Additional reporting by David Henry in New York and Manya Saini in Bangalore. Editing by Christian Plumb and Nick Ziminsky. Translated by Javier Lira and Noe Torres)
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