Unicorn eyes up to $500m in equity for acquisitions

Bahrain's Unicorn Investment Bank may raise between $250 million (Dh918.27m) and $500m in equity for acquisitions and considering distressed asset sales in the Gulf, said Frederick Stonehouse, head of strategic mergers and acquisitions at Unicorn.

He said the bank's strategic investment fund still has below $100 million to spend.

Unicorn is planning to buy a commercial bank to compliment its investment banking business, and Stonehouse said the bank is also studying opportunities in the Gulf where banks' owners are looking to exit distressed assets.

He reiterated that the bank is mulling buying Dubai Group's stake in Malaysia's Bank Islam, but said a deal was not imminent as shareholders needed to agree on the right partner and price.

"There is a degree of tension between the existing majority shareholder who would like the right partner, and the vendor who would like the right price," he said.

He said Unicorn was not interested in taking a stake in Khaleeji Commercial Bank as it prefers banks with a longer track record such as Bank Islam.

 

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