Ithmaar proposing to sell take in BBK
Bahrain’s Ithmaar Holding is proposing to sell its 25.4% stake in Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK). The stake is valued at about $250 million. Ithmaar Holding is interested in offering the stake only to strategic investors. It also owns convertible bonds sold by BBK, which would make the deal size even higher. It is now working with an investment bank on the transaction and has also talked to other banks. The sale could be complex because the Central Bank of Bahrain is unlikely to allow private equity firms to bid for the stake, while banks will weigh it carefully because having minority stakes is seen as punitive for capital under Basel 3.