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Banks line up to bid on City National: sources

By Jessica Toonkel and Jesús Aguado

NEW YORK (Reuters) - North American and Spanish banks are lining up to bid on City National Bank of Florida over the next few days, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Banks that are expecting to bid include Canadian bank TD Bank , Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T Corp , Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group as well as Spanish banks Banco Sabadell and Banco Popular .

City National's parent, rescued Spanish lender Bankia , announced it was selling the Miami-based bank last year as part its restructuring effort. The bank has hired Goldman Sachs to sell the bank, said four sources familiar with the situation, who declined to be identified because they are not allowed to speak to the media.

Goldman is asking for between $900 million and $1 billion for the bank, the four sources said. Sources, however estimate the bank will go for closer to $600 million to $800 million. City National has $4.8 billion in assets, according to the bank's Web site.

"It is a nice, little property to have, but it is not a must-have for anybody and given the current regulatory environment people are interested in having a look but I don't see them stretching too much to do this," said one of the sources.

Bids are due March 11, the sources said.

Goldman Sachs, Sabadell, Popular, Bankia, BB&T, PNC and TD declined to comment.

Last week Bankia Chief Executive Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said he has a dozen non-binding bidders and expects to close the sale of City National by the second or third quarter of this year.

Caja Madrid, one of the seven regional savings bank which joined to form Bankia in 2010, paid $927 million when it bought a 83 percent stake in CNB in 2008. It bought the remaining stake at a later date, without disclosing the price.

But last year, Bankia requested 18 billion euros in European aid last year to cope with a property market crash and to rebuild its capital. It has to shrink drastically as a condition of that aid, and it's slashing 4,500 jobs as well as closing bank branches in Spain. It will also sell its stakes in various Spanish companies between now and 2017, and is exiting non-strategic businesses, which include its operations in Florida.

The sale of its Florida bank would be the first major disposal by Bankia.

(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; editing by Andrew Hay)

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