First Abu Dhabi Bank to finish due diligence on Bank Audi’s Egyptian unit before year-end

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) plans to complete due diligence and submit a binding offer to acquire Bank Audi’s Egyptian subsidiary before the end of the year, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

The source did not provide any details about the value of the offer and said FAB is required to submit the offer to the Lebanese bank before the end of the current month as pursuant to the terms of a definitive transaction agreement between the two parties.

Bank Audi Egypt has grown from just a three-branch operation acquired by Bank Audi in 2005 to 50 branches with total assets of 83.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($5.3 billion) as of the end of September 2020.

In late October, Bank Audi announced it had restarted discussions with FAB to sell the Egyptian unit.

FAB, UAE’s biggest bank, put talks on hold in May due to difficult market conditions driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gulf lenders are looking to expand their market share in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country. Some Lebanese lenders, on the other hand, are attempting to sell assets to fulfil a requirement from Lebanon’s central bank to boost their equity as the country endures its worst financial crisis since the civil war.

Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) is reportedly planning to sign soon a definitive purchase agreement to buy Blom Bank’s Egyptian subsidiary, after completing due diligence process last month.

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