PLMJ advises on the sale of Barclays’ Portuguese operation to Spanish bank Bankinter


PLMJ is the law firm responsible for advising Barclays on the sale of its Portuguese operation to the Spanish bank Bankinter. The deal was led by Hugo Rosa Ferreira, the partner who heads PLMJ’s banking and finance practice and the firm’s UK Desk. He worked with a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 PLMJ lawyers from practice areas including banking and finance, corporate and M&A, employment law, litigation, tax, regulatory and competition, TMT and real estate.

According to PLMJ partner, Hugo Rosa Ferreira, “this deal presented an extremely interesting challenge from a legal point of view, given that Barclays operates in Portugal through a subsidiary. This meant it was not possible to complete the transaction through a simple sale and purchase of shares. The deal was structured as a sale of assets corresponding to distinct parts of Barclays banking operation in Portugal and PLMJ was responsible for structuring and implementing the legal solution to achieve this”.

Bankinter has acquired the 84 branches of Barclays’ subsidiary, a network that operates in the segment of retail banking and small and medium-sized companies, and has around 1000 employees. This means Barclays’ operation in Portugal will now be restricted to its credit card business (BarclayCard), investment banking and large companies.

This was an extremely complex legal operation involving a number of different countries (London law firm Freshfields acted for Barclays in the United Kingdom and in Spain) and a vast multidisciplinary team.

The contracts were signed today in PLMJ’s head office in Lisbon.


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