Sico named adviser in NBB’s push for acquisition of BisB

MANAMA: Sico has been appointed as issue execution adviser, receiving agent and allotment agent in the proposed voluntary acquisition of Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) by National Bank of Bahrain (NBB).

The offer opens today and the final closing date will be announced soon, said the regional investment bank.

It is set to be one of Bahrain’s largest transactions to date and comes amid a raft of mergers and acquisitions throughout the banking sector in the GCC as banks look to cost savings, synergies and efficiencies.

“We are very pleased to be working with two of the most prominent banks in Bahrain such as NBB and BisB and to have been named adviser on this transaction,” said Sico chief executive Najla Al Shirawi.

“It speaks volumes to our track record as lead adviser on key transactions and our provision of guidance on valuation, equities and debt issues, optimal capital structures, distribution policy, liquidity and restructuring deals with an ever-growing roster of seamlessly executed high-profile transactions.”

As part of the transaction, NBB is subject to a minimum acquisition of 40.94 per cent of the issued share capital of BisB, which would bring its ownership in the Sharia-compliant lender from 29.06pc to at least 70pc and up to 100pc.

The acquisition would take place at either cash of BD 0.117 per BisB share, or a share exchange at a ratio of 0.167 NBB shares per BisB share, each at the option of the BisB shareholder.

This would imply a BD124 million total valuation for BisB.

“We are working closely with NBB to ensure the transaction is processed smoothly and in line with the Central Bank of Bahrain’s rules as stipulated in its Takeovers, Mergers and Acquisitions Rulebook,” said Sico head of investment banking and real estate Wissam Haddad.

“Additionally, as the receiving and allotment agent, we will receive and manage the processing of BisB shareholders participating in the offer including the announcement of satisfied conditionality thresholds and ending with the settlement of payment and share issuance by NBB.”

Together with dedicated branches of NBB and BisB, Sico will be accepting applications from BisB shareholders at its receiving agent desk at the Bahrain Bourse.



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