CySEC monitoring BoC takeover bid

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The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) closely monitors the non-binding takeover bids of the largest lender Bank of Cyprus, filed by US investment fund Lone Star.

It is also in consultation with both the Bank of Cyprus and the Irish Takeover Panel, chair of CySEC George Theocharides told CNA.

Bank of Cyprus has rejected a triple takeover bid by Texas-based Lone Star, with the last offer valuing the deal at €727.25 mln, almost 50% above the bank’s current market cap of €496.25 mln.

The bank’s board unanimously rejected all three bids, saying they “fundamentally undervalue the company and its future prospects” and that they were not in the company’s best interests, shareholders, or other stakeholders.

Bank of Cyprus currently has a market cap of €524.3 mln, according to financial market data provider Refinitiv, owned by the London Stock Exchange.

According to Irish regulations, Lone Star has until 30 September to file a new offer, as Bank of Cyprus Holdings Plc was incorporated in Ireland in 2016 to list on the London Stock Exchange.

Bank of Cyprus has rejected three voluntary, conditional, non-binding offers from Lone Star regarding a possible cash offer for the company’s entire share capital.

“CySEC is closely monitoring the issue to find out whether the provisions of the Law on Acquisitions are being complied with,” said Theocharides.

He said some issues are under the Irish Takeover Panel and other matters fall under CySEC.

He explained the responsibilities of the two supervisory authorities would have to be defined.

Senvest  buying shares

There is also the issue of purchasing Bank of Cyprus shares by Senvest Management LLC.

A competent source told CNA that Senvest sees the progress made at the Bank of Cyprus and is buying the bank’s shares.

“Senvest Management LLC is impressed with the progress achieved at the Bank of Cyprus and its very good prospects, which is why it is increasing its capital share in the bank in the last months,” a source told CNA.

Senvest has bought around three million shares in the last three months, increasing its capital share to 7.79% from 7.11% in early June.

It views the bank as a good investment following normalising its non-performing loans and profitability prospects.

Senvest began investing in Cyprus around the end of 2012 in the framework of the financial crisis.

Its philosophy lies in long-term investments.

It is one of the largest investors in Cyprus banks, with a total of $100 mln sunk into BoC and Hellenic.