The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has approved the offer presented by Qatar National Bank (QNB) to buy 100% of National Société Générale Bank (NSGB).
The Qatari Bank submitted a mandatory tender offer (MTO) for 100% of the NSGB shares, according to a statement by EFSA, after being required by the authority to buy the totality of the shares rather than its originally planned 77% stake, which it announced in December.
In an interview with Reuters, Ashraf El-Sharqawy, the head of EFSA, confirmed it had “obliged QNB to submit an offer to purchase 100%” of NSGB’s shares.
Under Egyptian market law, a tender offer must be submitted initially to minority shareholders of the targeted acquisition.
QNB has offered EGP 38.65 a share. NSGB shares closed at EGP 37.52 on Sunday’s trading session on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).
Since September, Société Générale Group, which owns NSGB, has been negotiating with QNB to sell its majority stake in its Egyptian subsidiary.
QNB expressed interest and approached the group about the potential acquisition of its 77.2% majority stake in the bank, as part of QNB’s five-year plan to expand significantly in the Middle East and Africa, and filed an application with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to allow for due diligence.
In the same month, the due diligence process began as a first step in QNB’s push to acquire the intended stake. QNB also hired leading US financial services group JP Morgan Chase as a consultant on the potential acquisition.
QNB expects the transaction to be completed by the second quarter of the current year.
Due to the current European crisis, a number of European banks such as Société Générale are currently focusing more on core activities, selling non-core assets such as those outside of Europe, in order to raise further capital for their flagging European investments.
NSGB-Egypt is the second-largest publicly traded bank in Egypt. As of 30 June 2012, NSGB’s total assets reached $10.5bn. Société Générale’s stake is valued at around $1.77bn (EGP 10.8bn).
QNB is 50%-owned by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund spearheading Qatar’s international acquisitions lately, including stakes in Barclays, Volkswagen and Harrods.