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Spain's Popular faces further shareholder lawsuit over fire sale

Spanish law firm B. Cremades & Asociados has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Banco Popular Español SA shareholders, wiped out by the resolution and subsequent sale of the lender to Banco Santander SA, to the European Court of Justice, Expansión reported.

The suit against the European Commission and the Single Resolution Board, which supervises the winding down of banks in difficulty, aims to have the sale annulled, saying it violates EU rules and asks for compensation of 69 euro cents per share for Popular shareholders. The bank's shares were trading at 32 cents prior to its sale amid investors' concerns about its solvency.

The lawsuit is one of several. Spanish consumer group Adicae said July 31 that it had filed its own lawsuit, while minority shareholder group Aemec and a group of Mexican investors in the bank have also taken legal action at the European Court of Justice.

Popular was acquired by Santander on June 7. European authorities had deemed the bank "failing or likely to fail" after Popular succumbed under the weight of its €36.8 billion nonperforming assets.