Lebanon Businessnews News

Torbey camp prevails
in sale of Credit Libanais
EFG Hermes to sell 63 percent
share for $492 million
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The Egypt-based EFG Hermes said its board has approved the sale of its 63.7 percent stake in Credit Libanais for a total of $492.2 million. Credit Libanais Investment Bank (CLIB) has arranged the sale of 9.41 million shares, representing 40 percent of the bank’s capital to Lebanese and Arab investors. At this valuation, the price comes close to book value.

Bank Chairman, Joseph Torbey, was able to raise the required amount for acquiring the stake, according to a source close to the deal. Cedrus Invest Bank and BIT Bank were the other bidders.

According to various press reports and other sources, the Torbey group of investors includes Dar El Handassash (Talal Shaer), Ramzi Klink, Rahmeh brothers (Teddy and Raymond), Sarkis Sarkis, Mohamed Azzam Soueid, Salah Osseiran, Saida Mayor Mohamed Saoudi, Yahya Saleh (Yemen), the Akiki brothers, and Wajih Bizri.

EFG-Hermes, the Arab world’s largest publicly traded investment bank, said in a statement on the Egyptian Exchange that each share will be sold for $33. The deal, which requires the prior approval of the Central Bank (BDL), is expected to be closed by the end of June 2016.

EFG Hermes also signed an irrevocable underwriting agreement to sell the remaining 5.51 million shares it indirectly owns in the bank through CLIB, a fully-owned unit of Credit Libanais. This deal will be concluded by the end of May 2017.

The consolidated assets and customer deposits of Credit Libanais stood at $9.16 billion and $7.74 billion respectively at the end of 2014.

EFG Hermes, which acquired its stake in Credit Libanais in 2010 for $542 million, said it has appointed the consultancy firm Grant Thornton as financial advisor to prepare a study about the fair value of the bank.

With a stake of 23.5 percent, CIH Bahrain International Holding is Credit Libanais’ second largest shareholder. The remaining 12.7 percent is held by over 1,000 individual shareholders, including Credit Libanais’ executives and employees, each with less than a five percent stake.

Credit Libanais has a presence in Cyprus, Bahrain, Iraq, Canada, and Senegal, and plans to expand in the West Africa economic zone. It operates a network of 73 branches and has many subsidiaries engaged in various activities that include conventional and Islamic banking, insurance, leasing, real estate, tourism and ticketing, debt collection services, information technology, and advertising.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Mar 17, 2016
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