The stake has been sold to two Saudi government related institutional investors

Credit Agricole

New headquarters of Crédit Agricole in Montrouge, Paris, France. (Credit: Bernard.)

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank (Crédit Agricole CIB), has completed the sale of the remaining 4% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF).

Upon securing regulatory clearances, Crédit Agricole CIB has completed the stake sale to two Saudi government related institutional investors for a consideration of SAR1.4bn (€332m) at a price of SAR30 (€6.85) per share.

Crédit Agricole CIB CEO Jacques Ripoll said: “Crédit Agricole CIB remains highly confident in Saudi Arabia’s economic perspectives, in the wake of Vision 2030, and plans to further develop its direct presence to extend its activities in the country.

“Crédit Agricole CIB has initiated a process to apply for a license that will enable it to operate on Saudi capital markets.”

Divestment forms part of strategy to reduce weight of non-controlling stakes

Last March, the French bank had sold 4.9% stake in BSF for nearly SAR1.86bn (€440m) to two organisations including RAM Holdings I, an investment vehicle of Ripplewood Advisors and Olayan Saudi Investment Company.

RAM Holdings had bought 3% stake in BSF, and the remaining 1.9% stake was sold to Riyadh-based Olayan Saudi Investment Company.

After the deal was closed, the bank was left with 10% stake in BSF. Each share in BSF was sold to the two companies at a price of SAR30 (€6.85).

Ripplewood was also given the right to acquire an additional equity stake of up to 6% in BSF which it can exercise before the end of last December.

The French bank said that it has been present in Saudi Arabia since 1949 and has been associated with BSF since its creation in 1977. The divestment represents its strategy to reduce the weight of its non-controlling stakes.

In September 2017, the bank had agreed to sell 16.2% stake in BSF to Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), for SAR5.8bn (€1.3bn), at a per share price of SAR29.5 (€6.74). The sale reduced its stake in BSF to 14.9%.