Top Bank of Cyprus Investors to Explore Sale of Stake

Two of the top investors at Bank of Cyprus Holdings Plc are exploring a sale of their stakes in the country’s biggest bank, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg
Published20 Jun 2024, 11:07 PM IST
Top Bank of Cyprus Investors to Explore Sale of Stake
Top Bank of Cyprus Investors to Explore Sale of Stake

(Bloomberg) -- Two of the top investors at Bank of Cyprus Holdings Plc are exploring a sale of their stakes in the country’s biggest bank, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

AB CarVal Investors and Caius Capital are working with an adviser to gauge interest in their combined 15% holding, said the people. They have approached potential buyers including Greece’s Alpha Bank SA, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. 

Their stakes are worth about £232 million ($358 million) based on Wednesday’s closing price in London. Shares in Bank of Cyprus have risen about 28% in the past year, valuing the lender at about £1.6 billion. 

Any buyer of the two investors’ shares could use a transaction as a first step to amassing a larger holding and eventually making an offer for the rest of the bank’s shares, the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage and may not lead to any transaction, according to the people.

Representatives for Bank of Cyprus, Caius Capital and Alpha Bank declined to comment. Executives at CarVal did not respond to requests for comment. 

Consolidation Push

Any deal would follow previous consolidation moves in the European financial industry, with Greece’s Eurobank SA announcing a bid earlier this month for Cypriot lender Hellenic Bank Pcl. In Spain, the ongoing hostile attempt by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA to buy rival Banco de Sabadell SA has gripped the nation amid the government’s opposition. 

Greek banks are faring better after the nation emerged from a decade-long debt crisis. The European Central Bank this month approved requests by the country’s major banks to pay a dividend this year for the first time since the financial crisis 16 years ago.

Bank of Cyprus traces its roots back to 1899. In 2022, it rejected several takeover proposals from private equity firm Lone Star. 

The lender had about €19.3 billion in customer deposits by the end of December, accounting for nearly 38% of the country’s total customer deposits, its annual report shows.

--With assistance from Paul Tugwell and Georgios Georgiou.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 11:07 PM IST
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