The privatization process of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank (CCB) attracted “significant interest” both from financial entities in Cyprus and abroad in acquiring a stake in its share capital of part of its assets, the CCB said after the completion of the first phase concerning the expression of interest.
The CCB launched ten days ago a process for the expression of interest offering two options; acquiring a controlling stake in the bank’s share capital, currently owned by the state, or acquiring assets and liabilities.
“We are particularly pleased as we received significant interest through a substantial expression of interest. We are proceeding according to our planning,” Nicolas Hadjiyiannis, the CCB CEO said in a statement.
The CCB announced that expression of interest has been submitted by international and local entities representing strategic and financial investors.
“Prospective investors have expressed interest for both options, that is to acquire a controlling stake in the bank’s share capital, as well as acquiring assets and liabilities as well as of the bank’s network through a smooth asset transfer,” the bank said.
By expressing interest, prospective investors gained access in a virtual data room. Citigroup global markets, the CCB’s financial adviser, scrutinised the interested investors on the basis of their financial capacity to carry out the transaction and as to whether these investors would get the “fit and proper” approval from the EU Single Supervisory Mechanism.
The bank said that “following a detailed scrutiny and the submission of related documents, the prospective investors will have access to additional financial and operational data concerning the bank.”
CCB sources told CNA that a double-digit number of investors expressed interest but after the scrutiny, only a single-digit number advanced to the second stage.
Binding offers are expected with in May. The bank did not disclose further information concerning the number and the origin of interested investors.
Saddled with €6.4 billion of non-performing exposures, the bank is phased with the need to increase provisions against its delinquent loans, which amount to about 50% of its loan book.