BEIRUT: SGBL, one of the largest banks in Lebanon, expanded to Europe with an initial agreement to acquire a private bank in France, a statement by the bank said. “SGBL announces the signature of an agreement with KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) concerning the acquisition by SGBL of KBL Richelieu bank in France and KBL bank Monaco,” the statement added.
It added that transaction remains subject to the Lebanese, French, European and Monegasque regulatory approvals.
The bank did not disclose the value of the acquisition.
The acquisition by SGBL of KBL Richelieu and KBL Monaco is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2018, subject to the approval of the competent regulatory authorities.
But a source said that KBL European Private Bankers has an equity of $150 million.
The bank said that the signing of the agreement has already received positive feedback from the single staff delegation of KBL Richelieu.
“Through this project, the ambition of SGBL, headquartered in Lebanon, is to launch from France, a recognized financial center with strong cultural proximity, the construction of a leading international banking platform. This acquisition will give birth to a new group, Compagnie Financière Richelieu, which will be 100 percent owned by the SGBL group, and which will own Banque Richelieu France, Richelieu Gestion and Banque Richelieu Monaco,” the statement added.
SGBL said that the operation is accompanied by a post-acquisition plan resolutely turned toward development, with the main focus being investment in growth and skills.
“With this acquisition project, SGBL is opening a new era of development in France and Monaco. Indeed, we intend to develop a long-term industrial project for the Richelieu Bank and all of its employees. It is our will and our commitment, “says Georges Saghbini, Deputy General Manager of SGBL group.
SGBL has subsidiaries in Cyprus, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and provides a range of private, retail and corporate banking services. It employs over 2,000 staff and manages some 18 billion euros in assets.
“In turn, KBL epb will continue to invest in its existing European network, where the private banking group continues to consolidate its leadership status,” the statement said. It added that over the past three years, KBL epb has successfully executed five acquisitions, strengthening its presence in its core markets.
“Recently, the group announced the acquisition of Lombard Odier’s Dutch private banking business, KBL epb’s second acquisition in the Netherlands in the last 18 months,” SGBL said.