EFG-Hermes sells Bank Audi stake

Egypt's EFG-Hermes has sold its stake in Lebanon's Bank Audi for $913.4 million (Dh3.35bn), as the 28 per cent investment was tying up too much of its funds and afforded no prospect of control.

EFG-Hermes sold 7.5 million common shares and 2.5 million GDRs in the bank, it said in a regulatory statement yesterday.

"With one investment, without control, representing over 50 per cent of our adjusted book value, it became clear that a divestiture should be considered," said EFG-Hermes in the statement.

The investment bank was negotiating to increase its share in Bank Audi in late 2008, but talks were suspended after the parties were unable to reach agreement.

"After lengthy discussions with Bank Audi regarding a combination of the two businesses, it became evident after the events of 2008 that an amalgamation in the near future will be difficult," the EFG-Hermes statement added.

EFG-Hermes made an unconsolidated capital gain of $260m on the sale.

A statement by Audi said "a group of its existing shareholders, as well as a number of other high net worth individuals and entities investing directly or through investment vehicles" bought the stake at a price of $91 per share and GDR.

"Following the transaction, none of the purchasers individually own five per cent or more of the common shares of the bank," it said.

 

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