By Amit Chettupuzha
Deal expected to be through within a few months
ABU DHABI, BEIRUT/January 21-2021: Bank Audi sal (Bank Audi) and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) have signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition by FAB of 100 per cent of the share capital of Bank Audi sae, Bank Audi’s subsidiary in Egypt.
This agreement follows the completion of an in-depth due diligence exercise conducted by FAB on Bank Audi sae (Egypt) after obtaining the preliminary approval of the Central Bank of Egypt.
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months, following the satisfaction of customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the UAE and Egypt.
André Sayegh (seen in the picture – above), Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FAB, said, “FAB has a long history in Egypt, having opened its first branch in the country more than 45 years ago. FAB’s first international acquisition accelerates the Group’s expansion in a high potential market, with the addition of Bank Audi (Egypt)’s operations offering the scale, expertise and financial strength to support our growth journey and sustainable returns.”
Bridge for trade, investment flows
He said FAB is committed to supporting customers in Egypt across a full range of retail and corporate banking needs, as well as serving as a bridge for trade and investment flows across the MENA region and beyond.
Samir Hanna (seen in the picture – below), Chairman and Group CEO of Bank Audi, noted that this transaction represents the best outcome for all, in particular, the Bank Audi customers and its employees in Egypt based upon the challenges Lebanon has been throwing up for the past 16 months.
Strong vote of confidence
He added, “This transaction also represents a strong vote of confidence in the effectiveness of the Group’s governance and business model across the region.”
A statement from FAB said this acquisition will significantly increase the size and scale of FAB’s operations in Egypt, making it one of the country’s largest foreign banks by assets with pro-forma total assets of more than EGP120 billion ($8.1 billion).
The proceeds of the sale will contribute to the enhancement of Bank Audi Group’s capitalisation and financial resilience.
As of end-September 2020, Bank Audi sae (Egypt) had total assets of EGP83.2 billion ($5.3 billion) and shareholders’ equity of EGP7.6 billion ($479 million).
Its established retail and corporate banking propositions, and network of 53 branches, complement FAB’s well-established operations in Egypt of 17 branches and a presence dating back to 1975.
First Abu Dhabi Bank and UBS AG (London branch) acted as financial advisers, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy acted as legal advisers to FAB on the transaction.