National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), Kuwait’s largest commercial bank, declared that its $105 million takeover of Egypt’s Misr America International Bank (MAIB) has been stalled due to a legal dispute between the two sides.
The two banks also differed over the location of any ensuing arbitration over the deal that may be necessary, with NBK keen on the choice of a neutral jurisdiction such as Paris or London. NBK had embarked on the acquisition as part of its strategy for regional expansion,aiming at opening a bank in the most populous Arab state.
NBK had offered earlier this year $140 a share for the entire 750,000 MAIB shares. Its bid was worth $116 million at the time and a sale and purchase agreement were expected to be signed within a few weeks after NBK secured approval of Egypt’s Central Bank.
MAIB is owned by three state-owned financial institutions,after major shareholder Bank of America pulled out in 1989. Original interested parties in the race to buy MAIB included NBK along with the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Holding Company, Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank of Egypt. Credit Agricole Indosuez, a unit of Credit Agricole of France, is now in talks to take over the bank at about $111 a share. NBK posted $249 million in profits in the
first nine months of 2000, up 11.7 percent over the same period last year. — ( Lebanon Invest )