By Stelios Orphanides
The Cyprus Cooperative Bank said that it received a “considerable number” of applications expressing interest in buying either part of its shareholding or its assets.
“The applications expressing interest have been submitted by both global entities as well as domestic entities representing strategic and financial investors,” the lender said on Thursday, hours after the expiration of a deadline. “Possible investors have expressed interest both in a small controlling investment in the bank as a whole as well as the acquisition of assets, liabilities and the network of the bank, via a smooth asset transfer”.
“Following a thorough screening and the submission of related documents, the selected potential investors will gain access to further financial and operational data,” the lender said.
The bank, struggling with a €6.5bn mountain of non-performing loans, roughly half its loan portfolio and facing the need of further increasing its provisions for loan impairments that threaten to wipe out much of what was left from the €1.7bn in fresh capital injected by the government after the 2013 banking crisis, did not reveal additional information about the number or the origin of the investors who expressed their interest.
“We have received considerable investor interest and through a substantial number of applications and we are particularly satisfied about it,” Nicholas Hadjiyiannis, the lender’s chief executive officer was cited as saying.
The Co-op which has appointed Citigroup Global Markets Ltd to assist it in its efforts in attracting investors, said that Citigroup, licenced by the (UK) Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) supervised by both the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority, is not liable to any third party other than the Cyprus Cooperative Bank with respect to protection afforded to customers as part of its consultancy services.
“Neither this notice nor the release of any confidential information to an interested party constitutes, or may be used for, any offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or purchase any securities by any person in any jurisdiction or under any circumstance where it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation,” the Cyprus Cooperative Bank said. “The distribution of this notice in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law, and recipients should inform themselves about, and observe any applicable legal or regulatory requirements in relation to, the distribution or possession of this notice”.
Neither the Co-op, “Citi nor their or their affiliates’ respective directors, officers, employees, advisers or agents accept any liability to any person in relation to the distribution or possession of this invitation in any jurisdiction,” it added.