Moving Forward Into the US Hispanic Market BBVA to Acquire Laredo National Bancshares, Inc. in Texas





* The transaction, with a purchase price of $ 850 million, is expected

to be accretive starting in the first year



* LNB has $ 3.4 billion in total assets, 110,000 customers and a

market share of 23% in the Texas-Mexico border region



* Hispanic population in LNB's footprint is above 5 million; Hispanics

are expected to be the fastest growing demographic group in Texas

and the US as a whole



* After the closing, LNB will become part of BBVA's new US division

that currently comprises BBVA Puerto Rico, BTS and will include

Valley Bank



* Francisco Gonzalez, Chairman & CEO BBVA: "This transaction gives us

a top position in one of the priority markets for our US strategy"



* Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President & COO BBVA: "Profitable growth

is a key element of BBVA's strategy, today and in the future"



    MADRID, Spain, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Banco Bilbao Vizcaya
 Argentaria (BBVA), based in Spain, announced today that it has reached
 agreement to acquire Laredo National Bancshares, Inc. (LNB), the leading
 financial services provider to the Hispanic market in the Texas-Mexico border
 area, with $ 3.4 billion in total assets and 110,000 customers.  The
 transaction is expected to create value for BBVA's shareholders from the
 outset and has a purchase price of $850 million (euro 700 million), to be
 financed through BBVA's internal resources.  With this transaction, which is
 expected to close during the first quarter of 2005, BBVA moves forward with
 its goal of becoming a leading financial services company for the Hispanic
 market.
     "We are very excited about this transaction because it gives us a top
 position in one of the priority markets for our US strategy," said Francisco
 Gonzalez, Chairman & CEO of BBVA.  "This is an area with a massive Hispanic
 presence, more than 5 million people.  In addition, approximately 38% of the
 border trade between the US and Mexico is done through Laredo, a business
 activity in which LNB has a predominant market share."
     "Step by step, we are firmly moving forward into the US Hispanic market,
 continuing our value enhancing strategy," the BBVA chairman added.
     "LNB's acquisition makes all the sense within BBVA's strategy, launched in
 2002," said Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, BBVA's President & COO.  "Profitable
 growth is a key element of BBVA's strategy, today and in the future.  Value
 creation is our most important commitment with our shareholders."
 
     A leading franchise
     Laredo National Bancshares is the holding company of two banks -- The
 Laredo National Bank and South Texas National Bank of Laredo -- which have
 total assets of $3.4 billion and total deposits of $ 2.8 billion and operate
 through 35 branches.  Laredo National Bank also owns Homeowners Loan
 Corporation, a nationwide residential mortgage lender with operations in 49
 states, and has subsidiaries engaged in insurance and securities brokerage.
     With almost 1,800 employees -- 97 percent bilingual -- LNB is uniquely
 well positioned to be the leading financial services company in the South
 Texas Border region, where it has a 23% market share in deposits and currently
 serves a customer base of 110,000 individuals, 85 percent of Hispanic origin.
 Currently, LNB is expanding its core markets to adjacent regions within Texas,
 leveraging its ability to service the needs of the Hispanic community.
     Continuing its strong growth, in 2003 LNB had net income of $ 40 million,
 a 22% increase over the previous year, with a return on equity (ROE) of 15.4%.
 
     Strengthening the US strategy
     With this acquisition -- expected to close in the first quarter 2005
 subject to regulatory approval in Spain and the US and other customary closing
 conditions- BBVA takes an important step forward in its US strategy, with the
 goal of developing a leading franchise in financial services for the Hispanic
 community.
     In July 2004, BBVA announced the establishment of a new business unit
 charged with developing its strategy for the US market.  Following the
 acquisition, LNB will become part of BBVA's US division, which currently
 comprises BBVA Puerto Rico and BTS.
     In May 2004, BBVA announced the agreement to acquire California-based
 Valley Bank, which currently has six branches located in the Southern region
 of the State.
     BBVA has also a strong presence in Puerto Rico, with the fifth largest
 bank in the Spanish-speaking Commonwealth.  BBVA Puerto Rico has an important
 consumer finance business, with a focus on mortgages and auto lending.
     BTS is the leading company in the money remittance business between the US
 and Mexico, with a market share of approximately 40%.  Last year, Mexican
 residents in the US sent to their origin country more than $ 14.5 billion,
 according to data provided by Banco de Mexico.
 
     About BBVA
     BBVA is the leading financial player in the Spanish-speaking countries,
 both in Spain and Latin America.  BBVA provides to its 35 million customers in
 37 countries a full range of financial services, including commercial and
 wholesale banking, pension plans' management and insurance, among others.
 With 316.4 billion euros in total assets as of June 2004, 2.2 billion euros in
 net income last year -- a 29.5% increase compared to 2002 --, 85,000 employees
 worldwide and close to 7,000 branches, BBVA is one of the top-three leading
 Eurozone banks in terms of Return on Equity, Earnings Per Share growth and
 efficiency.
 
                     Very attractive demographics prospects
 
      * Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the US and represent
        13% of the US population
      * Total population in LNB's footprint is 13 million and it is expected to
        grow to 15 million by 2008
      * The concentration of Hispanics in LNB's footprint is 34% vs. 13% in the
        U.S.
      * Household income in LNB market is expected to grow by 9% compared to 5%
        national average
      * The Hispanics are an underserved segment: only 65% have checking
        accounts vs. 95% of the "anglo" market
 
                              Main business lines
 
     Laredo National Bank
 
      * Provides products and services to commercial and retail customers
      * Mainly Mexican customers (second generation and "borders").
      * Other "anglo" customers in the Houston area
      * $1.5 Bn in loans and $2.3 Bn in deposits
      * 63% of LNB 2003 net income
 
     South Texas National Bank
 
      * A community bank focused on commercial and retail customers
      * Lower Mexican customers penetration, more "anglo"
      * $297 Mn in loans and $543 Mn in deposits
      * 15% of LNB 2003 net income
 
     Homeowners Loan Corporation
 
      * A non-prime mortgage lender based in Atlanta, GA licensed to operate in
        49 states
      * Activity focused in the production and sales of mortgages
      * $1,300 Mn. loan volume is expected for 2004
      * Primary origination channels direct mail and internet
      * 22% of LNB 2003 net income
 
     Disclaimer
     This document is only provided for information purposes and does not
 constitute, nor should it be interpreted as, an offer to sell or exchange or
 acquire, or an invitation for offers to buy securities issued by any of the
 aforementioned companies.  Any decision to buy or invest in securities in
 relation to a specific issue must be made solely and exclusively on the basis
 of the information set out in the pertinent prospectus filed by the company in
 relation to such specific issue.  Nobody who becomes aware of the information
 contained in this report should regard it as definitive, because it is subject
 to changes and modifications.
     This document contains or may contain forward looking statements (in the
 usual meaning and within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation
 Act of 1995) regarding intentions, expectations or projections of BBVA or of
 its management on the date thereof, that refer to miscellaneous aspects,
 including projections about the future earnings of the business.  The
 statements contained herein are based on our current projections, although the
 said earnings may be substantially modified in the future by certain risks,
 uncertainty and others factors relevant that may cause the results or final
 decisions to differ from such intentions, projections or estimates.
     These factors include, without limitation, (1) the market situation,
 macroeconomic factors, regulatory, political or government guidelines, (2)
 domestic and international stock market movements, exchange rates and interest
 rates, (3) competitive pressures, (4) technological changes, (5) alterations
 in the financial situation, creditworthiness or solvency of our customers,
 debtors or counterparts.  These factors could condition and result in actual
 events differing from the information and intentions stated, projected or
 forecast in this document and other past or future documents. BBVA does not
 undertake to publicly revise the contents of this or any other document,
 either if the events are not exactly as described herein, or if such events
 lead to changes in the stated strategies and intentions.
     The contents of this statement must be taken into account by any person or
 entity that may have to make decisions or prepare or disseminate opinions
 about securities issued by BBVA and, in particular, by the analysts who handle
 this document.  This document may contain summarised information or
 information that has not been audited, and its recipients should consult the
 documentation and public information filed by BBVA with stock market
 supervisory bodies, in particular, the prospectuses and periodical information
 filed with the Spanish Securities Exchange Commission (CNMV) and the Annual
 Report on form 20-F and information on form 6-K that are disclosed to the US
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
     Distribution of this document in other jurisdictions may be prohibited,
 and recipients into whose possession this document comes shall be solely
 responsible for informing themselves about, and observing any such
 restrictions. By accepting this document you agree to be bound by the
 foregoing restrictions.
 
 

SOURCE BBVA
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