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Dutch bank NIBC in talks with Blackstone over €1.44bn buyout proposal

By Ramla Soni

Blackstone is offering to pay €9.85 per share for the Hague-based bank

Dutch commercial bank NIBC Holding NV is said to be in advanced talks over a buyout proposal from private equity firm Blackstone that values the lender at €1.44bn (£1.2 bn, $1.5 bn).

Blackstone is offering to pay €9.85 per share for the Hague-based bank, NIBC said, a 7.8 per cent premium to its closing price of €9.13 euros per share.

NIBC’s shares rose 7.1 per cent at the open to €9.79 per share in Amsterdam.

In a statement, NIBC said the overture is being supported by its major shareholders, US private equity group JC Flowers and Dutch investment firm Reggeborgh.

The bank’s boards are however also considering the proposal, which may not lead to an actual offer.

The bank reported a net profit of €83m for the first half of 2019. It is due to report full-year earnings February 26.

NIBC said JC Flowers, which holds 60.6 per cent of its stock, would agree to sell its stake for €8.93 per share under the proposal, while Reggeborgh, which owns 14.6 per cent of the group, would sell its stake for €9.65 per share.

JC Flowers bought NIBC from Dutch pension funds in 2005 for €1.8bn but the financial crisis of 2008 derailed its plans to sell the bank at a profit.

The American firm eventually sought a listing for the bank in 2018, selling a 25 per cent stake at €8.75 per share.

NIBC serves 600 small businesses and 400,000 retail clients.

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