Capitec, Ned­bank vie to pur­chase Por­tu­gal’s Mer­can­tile

African Times - - Business - MTHULISI SIBANDA

THE Por­tuguese gov­ern­ment has short­listed Capitec, Ned­bank, Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC) and a con­sor­tium of banks are in the short­list to ac­quire Mer­can­tile Bank Hold­ings Lim­ited in South Africa.

The con­sor­tium com­prises Arise B.V. and Grindrod Bank Lim­ited. This ap­proval al­lows the sale process of Mer­can­tile by Caixa Geral de Depósi­tos (CGD), a Por­tuguese State-owned bank­ing and fi­nan­cial services group, to progress to the next phase.

CGD has re­ceived 18 non­bind­ing of­fers for Mer­can­tile, the bank con­trol­ling com­pany and sole share­holder of Mer­can­tile Bank, a niche busi­ness and com­mer­cial bank which spe­cialises in serv­ing en­trepreneurs. CGD an­nounced its in­ten­tion to sell Mer­can­tile last year as part of a strate­gic plan ap­proved by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, re­quir­ing CGD to

re­duce its for­eign as­sets. Mer­can­tile is 100-owned owned by CGD.

Pur­suant to the rec­om­men­da­tion of CGD, the Por­tuguese Gov­ern­ment ap­proved the short­list of po­ten­tial buy­ers af­ter a thor­ough eval­u­a­tion process by CGD and its ad­vi­sors of the non-bind­ing of­fers re­ceived.

Karl Kumbier, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Mer­can­tile, said the com­pany was pleased by the qual­ity of the po­ten­tial buy­ers on the list.

“I be­lieve in­ter­est in Mer­can­tile from com­pa­nies of this cal­i­bre is not only tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of our busi­ness, but also of our team,” Kumbier said.

“I am ex­cited that each of these po­ten­tial buy­ers could open up new op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mer­can­tile and add great value to our busi­ness, just as we can add great value to theirs.”

Mer­can­tile’s lat­est fi­nan­cial re­sults for the year end­ing De­cem­ber 31, 2017 saw its net profit af­ter tax climb by 20 per­cent to R213 mil­lion (US$15,8 mil­lion).

This fol­lows growth in net profit af­ter tax of 21 per­cent in 2016 and 15 per­cent in 2015.

Mer­can­tile’s as­sets grew by 9 per­cent in 2017 to R13,4 bil­lion. De­posits grew by 10 per­cent to R9, 3 bil­lion.

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