articles | 23 August 2022

Bank of Cyprus rejects €727 million takeover bid

Bank of Cyprus has rejected a triple takeover bid by Texas-based investment fund Lone Star, with the last offer valuing the deal at €727.25 million, almost 50% above the bank’s current market cap of €496.25 million.

The bank admitted Friday that three bids had been submitted by LSF XI Investments LLC (‘Lone Star’) between May 5 and July 8, with successive all-cash offers at €1.25 a share, €1.38 and €1.51, far higher than the London-listed stock’s closing price of €1.03.

The share price has been lingering below €1 since February 2020, and has never been able to recover to its LSE-listing price of €2.97 in January 2017.

Lone Star said in a statement that, “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made.”

Fundamentally undervalued

The bank’s board unanimously rejected all three bids saying they “fundamentally undervalue the company and its future prospects” and that they were not in the best interests of the company, its shareholders or other stakeholders.

The board said it is confident in the company’s future prospects and remains committed to delivering its strategy of becoming a stronger, safer and a more focused institution capable of further supporting the recovery of the Cypriot economy.

It reiterated the guidance issued in May, including delivery of a return on tangible equity of greater than 10% in 2024 and a return to paying dividends from 2023 onwards, something it has not achieved for over 12 years due to the meltdown of the Cyprus economy and subsequent bail-in rescue by its depositors.

It also carried the burden of absorbing the now-defunct Laiki Popular Bank and has been struggling to reduce its bloated workforce, currently at 2,850 and extensive branch network.

Source: Financial Mirror

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