Lebanon Businessnews News

Byblos Bank buys
Banque Pharaon & Chiha
Deal valued at $91 million
involves the Rahmeh brothers
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Byblos Bank has concluded a deal with the shareholders of Banque Pharaon & Chiha to acquire their entire stake in the bank for $91 million.

The Central Bank (BDL) had given the green light to the parties to go ahead with the deal but has yet to give its final approval.

ZR Holding, which is owned by brothers, Teddy and Raymond Rahmeh, will hold a 5.7 percent stake in Byblos Bank after the acquisition. This stake represents the entire equity of Banque Pharaon & Chiha. ZR Holding previously tried to acquire the bank but did not succeed as the BDL only allows banks to acquire other banks. The deal is expected to be completed within a month.

An escrow account of $7 million has been opened at BDL as guarantee for any possible default on doubtful loans.

Byblos is in talks with the Central Bank to obtain a subsidized loan. Such loans are usually given to support merging banks.

Established in 1876, Banque Pharaon & Chiha is one of the oldest banks in Lebanon. Its assets and deposits stood at $304 million and $228 million respectively at the end of 2014. The bank’s major shareholder was Naji Pharaon.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Mar 22, 2016
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