Saturday 24 October, 2020

Republic Financial Holdings to acquire Scotiabank in 9 countries

Ronald Harford, Chairman of RFHL

Ronald Harford, Chairman of RFHL

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in Guyana, St. Maarten and the Eastern Caribbean territories, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In a release, Republic said the purchase price is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for the total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries.

This price does not include any amounts required to capitalise the branches post-closing.

The agreement, executed on November 27, 2018 signalled the commencement of a transaction that is subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.

Bank of Nova Scotia on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings which were marginally below expectations and said it planned to exit nine countries in the Caribbean as part of a shake-up of that business.

The bank, which has operated in the Caribbean since 1889, said that it would refocus its business in the region by selling its insurance operations in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to Sagicor Financial Corporation, with whom it will partner to sell insurance products in those countries.

In making the announcement, Ronald F deC. Harford, Chairman of RFHL, said: “This acquisition represents another major milestone for the Republic Group.  As we grow and acquire significant positions in our existing markets, it is important that we continue to broaden our footprint, regionally and internationally. This agreement, which is subject to all regulatory approvals, affords us the opportunity to reach more clients in the Eastern Caribbean and Guyana, two markets we are familiar with, and build new relationships in St. Maarten.

"We are confident that our expanded presence or entrance in those markets will redound to the benefit of Scotiabank’s clients and employees as well as Republic’s existing stakeholders. I would like to thank Scotiabank for the confidence expressed in our ability to look after their valuable clients, and we are pleased that all impacted employees of Scotiabank in the 9 countries will join the Republic Group.”

The Republic Group’s total asset base as at September 30, 2018 stood at US$10.5 billion, with equity at US$1.5 billion and profits attributable to shareholders for the year ended September 30, 2018 of US$198 million.

Republic said this acquisition will increase the Group’s asset size by approximately US$2.5 billion and will be accretive to the earnings of the Group by approximately US$ 0.20 per share. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is advising RFHL on this transaction.

“Scotiabank is proud to work with the Republic Group – a leader in financial services in the Caribbean who is well positioned to invest and grow the business, and to provide customers across the region with leading financial solutions that meet their needs,” said Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.

Harford explained that RFHL’s focus on seeking out expansion opportunities in the Caribbean is a testament to the Group’s confidence in and commitment to the Caribbean region.

“We have a proven track record of adding value to the markets we enter, and we look forward to partnering with the teams in these territories to deliver excellence in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social responsibility," he said. 

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