(Bloomberg) -- Banco de Sabadell SA’s second-largest investor supports the hostile takeover proposal made by rival Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, giving a boost to a bid that could transform Spanish banking. 

Mexican billionaire David Martinez sees the offer as attractive, people familiar with the matter said who asked not to be identified. Martinez is a board member of Sabadell and holds about 3.5% of the company’s stock. 

The support from Martinez demonstrates that the offer has appeal for Sabadell’s shareholders even though the bank’s leadership has rejected the bid from BBVA as too low. Spain’s second-biggest lender bypassed Sabadell’s management last week to offer one newly issued BBVA share for every 4.83 shares in its smaller rival directly to investors.  

The European Central Bank also supports a merger, Bloomberg has reported. The regulator’s positive view could speed up necessary approvals if a takeover were to come to fruition.

Still, BBVA faces a challenging pursuit. In addition to Sabadell’s management, the Spanish government has said it’s opposed, too. It has the last word on the deal, it has said.

A merger of the two lenders would create a new Spanish banking giant with a joint balance sheet of more than €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) in assets. The combined market capitalization would be about €70 billion, or roughly equal to the valuation of Spain’s largest lender, Banco Santander SA.

Martinez owns slightly less in Sabadell than BlackRock Inc., according to data on the Spanish securities regulator’s website. 

Fintech Advisory, Martinez’s investment firm, declined to comment, as did BBVA and Sabadell.

Read More: BBVA’s Relentless Pursuit of Sabadell Upends Spanish Banking

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