Bloomberg News

Bidvest Makes Unsolicited Bid to Buy Caixa’s Mercantile Bank

June 30, 2011

(Updates with terms of offer from first paragraph.)

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Bidvest Group Ltd., owner of South Africa’s biggest money changer, offered to buy Mercantile Bank Holdings Ltd. to expand in consumer and retail banking.

The 35.5 cents-a-share offer is 69 percent more than Mercantile’s weighted average share price over the past 30 days, the Johannesburg-based target said in a statement to the stock exchange today. The offer values Mercantile at about 1.4 billion rand ($207 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Caixa Geral de Depositos owns 92 percent of Mercantile. A spokesman at the Lisbon-based lender couldn’t immediately comment on the offer.

Mercantile rose 5 cents, or 25 percent, to 25 cents at the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg trading. Bidvest shares dropped 95 cents, or 0.6 percent, to 150.50 rand.

--With assistance from Henrique Almeida in Lisbon. Editor: Edward Evans, Vernon Wessels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Brand in Cape Town at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alastair Reed at

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