Bahrain's GFH approaches Khaleeji Commercial Bank with voluntary takeover offer

GFH increased its shareholding in the Shariah-compliant lender to 69.05% this week

GFH, a Shariah-compliant investment bank, with more than $12bn in assets and funds under management, increased its shareholding in Khaleeji Commercial Bank. Alamy 
GFH, a Shariah-compliant investment bank, with more than $12bn in assets and funds under management, increased its shareholding in Khaleeji Commercial Bank. Alamy 

Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group plans to fully acquire Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB), after it raised its stake in the Sharia-compliant lender to more than 69 per cent.

GFH has approached KHCB's board with a “proposed voluntary takeover offer for the issued shares of KHCB”, the company said in a statement to the Bahrain Bourse, where its shares trade. The offer is “subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory, board and shareholders approvals” and “may or may not” lead to an offer.

KHCB, which also trades on the Bahrain stock exchange, confirmed the offer from the GFH board and said it will make further announcements in the future.

GFH, a Shariah-compliant investment bank, with more than $12 billion in assets and funds under management increased its shareholding in KHCB this week after it bought shares from Dubai-based Shuaa Capital and the Goldilocks Fund, which is managed by a Shuaa subsidiary.

GFH has bought Shuaa Capital’s direct 3.8 per cent stake in KHCB, totalling more than 34.64 million shares and its 9.76 per cent indirect shareholding from the Goldilocks fund, equating to more than 87 million shares.

GFH, which owned a 55.41 per cent stake in KHCB before the deal, has paid more than 8.76 million Bahraini dinars ($23.3m), for Shuaa’s combined shareholding, equating to 0.072 dinars per share, GFH said in a bourse filing on Monday.

Banks in the GCC are looking to merge or take over other financial institutions to gain scale and expand their footprint as regional economies emerge from the pandemic-driven economic slowdown.

GFH offers investment management services to its clients and has interests in commercial banking, real estate development and treasury and proprietary investments.

The lender, which reported a 32 per cent drop in its 2020 profit and which has assets worth $6.9bn, raised $2.8bn in funds for investments last year.

Published: June 8, 2021 06:08 PM

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