Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) this morning confirmed that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in nine Caribbean countries.
The banks being acquired are in Guyana, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines for US$123 million, representing a US$25 million consideration for 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 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,” said RFHL chairman, Ronald F deC. Harford.
A RFHL statement said: “This price does not include any amounts required to capitalize 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.”
“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 Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.
Harford said the agreement, which is subject to all regulatory approvals, affords the RFHL “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,” he said, adding “ 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 nine countries will join the Republic Group.”
This latest acquisition will increase the RFHL’s asset size by approximately US$2.5 billion.
In a related development, the Bank of Nova Scotia announced that it is selling its insurance operations in Jamaica and T&T as part of a shake-up of its businesses that also included the plans to exit nine Caribbean countries.
The bank, which has operated in the Caribbean since 1989, said it will sell the operations to Sagicor Financial Corporation, with whom it will partner to sell insurance products in those countries.