Banking market weekly snapshot: Europe dominates the deals

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From 28 February 2021 to 6 March 2021, the banking industry saw a significant increase in mergers and acquisitions.

There were 41 deals this week, when compared to the 24 deals the previous week. Amongst the 41 deals were 34 acquisitions, 4 mergers and 3 asset transactions.

Most notably this week, Nordax Bank acquired 100% of Norweigan Finans Holding (NFH) for $209.84m on 4 March 2021 in Norway.

Nordax Bank, a Swedish provider of financial products and services, launched an all-cash offer for all the outstanding shares of NFH. The Offer will be financed through a combination of equity, debt and cash on balance sheet.

Owning 16.40% and 6.33% respectively of the shares in NFH, Nordic Capital Fund IX3 and Sampo Oyj, have entered into conditional agreements to contribute their existing shares in NFH to Nordax in exchange for shares in Nordax.

The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2021.

For less than half the value, AIB Group announced its acquisition of 100% of Goodbody Stockbrokers for a value of $98.89m on 2 March 2021 in Ireland.

Goodbody Stockbrokers operates as a financial services firm, offering brokerage, investment advisory, and corporate finance consulting services.

Colin Hunt, CEO of AIB, said: “The acquisition of Goodbody will greatly increase the Group’s capacity to broaden its services to customers, while also enhancing the bank’s growth opportunities.

“This is a landmark deal for the bank, as AIB positions itself for expansion in Ireland, supporting our 2.8m customers and ready to underpin Ireland’s economic recovery as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from the firm, the acquisition is consistent with its strategy announced in December 2020 to make selective investments to address gaps in its overall customer offering and diversify income streams.

“This transaction marks a step in delivering the updated strategy and AIB will continue to explore further opportunities, particularly in the Life and Pensions segments.”

Completion of the acquisition is subject to approval by the Central Bank of Ireland and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Elsewhere in Europe, American Fidelity Investments revealed a minority acquisition of Bank of Georgia Group for $39.97m on 3 March 2021 in the UK.

US-based asset management company, American Fidelity Investments, has acquired 6.15% stake in Bank of Georgia a UK-based provider of wealth management, corporate and investment, retail banking and payment services.

Of the mergers, the most significant was that of Atoro Capital Corp, which announced its merging with Lyte Investments for $2.37m on 3 March 2021 in Canada.

Atoro Capital Corp entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Lyte Investments – a provider of an integrated Telehealth platform – which saw Atoro propose to issue 20m post-consolidated common shares on closing of the Transaction in exchange for the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding equity securities of Lyte from its shareholders.