Bank of Beirut to buy
Banque de Crédit National
Go ahead given to start acquisition talks
Bank of Beirut (BoB) said its board has approved a plan for the acquisition of the entire shares of Banque de Crédit National (BCN).
BoB said its board has mandated Salim Sfeir, its chairman, to negotiate with BCN’s shareholders and to set the acquisition terms. The chairman was also authorized to sign all related contracts and documents.
BCN’s total assets stood at nearly $216 million at the end of 2016. Shareholder equity totaled $28 million. The bank has three branches, two in Beirut and one in Tripoli.
The two parties have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). “The deal is not closed yet,” said a source at one of the banks. After a deal is concluded, it would still need the approbation of the Central Bank.
With a stake of 63.7 percent, Lutfi El Zein is BCN’s major shareholder. Zein acquired the stake in 2010. BCN was founded in 1929 under the name of Banque Jacob E. Safra. In 1956, its name was changed into Banque de Crédit National.
BoB also plans to establish a bank in the Ivory Coast with an initial capital of $18 million. BoB, whose total assets stood at $17.6 billion at the end of June, has a presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Australia, Germany, Cyprus, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Nov 01, 2017