First Abu Dhabi Bank has agreed to buy the Egyptian business of Lebanon’s Bank Audi in a deal which will make the largest lender in the UAE also one of the biggest foreign banks in Egypt.
FAB’s first international acquisition will increase its Egyptian business to more than $8 billion in assets, while the sale proceeds will help Bank Audi’s capitalisation and financial resilience, the banks said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“Transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months, subject to regulatory approvals by the UAE and Egyptian authorities,” the joint statement said, adding that FAB Egypt will be one of the largest foreign banks in Egypt by total assets once the acquisition is completed.
André Sayegh, group chief executive officer at FAB, said his bank 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.
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.
The sale of Bank Audi’s assets in Egypt comes as Lebanese banks are face the country’s worst financial crisis since its civil war. Bahrain’s Bank ABC this week said it had agreed to buy the Egyptian subsidiary of Lebanon’s Blom Bank for 6,700 million Egyptian pounds ($427.30 million).
The value of the deal to buy Bank Audi’s Egypt unit, which had total assets of $5.3 billion at the end of September last year, was not disclosed by the two banks.
Samir Hanna, chairman and group CEO of Bank Audi, said this transaction represents a strong vote of confidence in the effectiveness of the group’s governance and business model across the region.
“This transaction represents the best outcome for all our constituencies, in particular our customers and our employees in Egypt based upon the challenges we have been facing in Lebanon for the past 16 months,” he said.
UBS advised FAB and EFG Hermes was adviser to Bank Audi on the deal, which came after talks between the two banks resumed late last year following a suspension in May during the coronavirus outbreak.
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