NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) is in early talks with possible buyers of its Mexico consumer banking business Citibanamex, executives said on Thursday, while cautioning that the sale process would be complex and could take a few quarters to complete.
Citi disclosed in January that it was looking for a buyer for the unit, Mexico’s No. 3 consumer bank, which has struggled to trim costs to become more competitive with rivals like Spain’s BBVA and Santander.
Analysts have estimated that the bank, which Citi bought for $12.5 billion in 2001, could fetch between $4 billion and $8 billion.
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Citi Chief Executive Jane Fraser told analysts that the bank was “attracting a lot of attention” in the talks with buyers, calling the sale a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Various potential bidders for the business have already surfaced, including Mexico’s Grupo Financiero…