Mexico’s Mifel head says still bidding for Citigroup’s Mexican retail unit

FILE PHOTO: Citibanamex bank branch in Mexico City

By Valentine Hilaire and Noe Torres

MERIDA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico’s Mifel bank is still in the bidding process for Citigroup’s Mexican retail bank Citibanamex, Mifel’s head Daniel Becker told Reuters on Wednesday. 

“Yes, we are still in the process,” Becker said in an interview without giving details.

U.S. banking giant Citigroup is offloading its Mexican retail unit, also known locally as Banamex, as part of Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser’s efforts to simplify the firm. 

Mifel is battling billionaire German Larrea’s conglomerate Grupo Mexico, which has secured a $5 billion debt package for its proposed Banamex acquisition, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Larrea emerged as the front-runner to buy Banamex over Mifel’s Becker, the sources said at the time.

Other potential buyers have included fellow Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Spanish bank Santander, who also showed interest in Banamex but have since dropped out of the race.

(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Noe Torres; Editing by Anthony Esposito)