Scotiabank is shutting shop in parts of the Caribbean, entering an agreement with a Trinidad-based leading financial group to take over its banking operations in nine “non-core markets” in the region. It has been announced that, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) will purchase Scotiabank’s banking operations in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, and St Vincent and the Grenadines for US$123 million.
The purchase price – which does not include money required to capitalize the branches post-closing – includes US$25 million for the total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited, and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the other eight countries.
In making the announcement today, Chairman of RFHL, Ronald F deC. Harford, said: “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. This agreement, which is subject to all regulatory approvals, affords us 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. 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,” he added.
The Republic Group’s total asset base as at September 30, stood at US$10.5 billion, with equity at US$1.5 billion and profits attributable to shareholders for the year ended September 30, of US$198 million. The acquisition will increase the Group’s asset size by approximately US$2.5 billion.
“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 (Nacho) Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.
Harford explained that RFHL’s focus on seeking out expansion opportunities in the Caribbean is a testament to the Group’s confidence in and commitment to the region.
“We have a proven track record of adding value to the markets we enter, and we look forward to partnering with the teams in these territories to deliver excellence in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social responsibility,” he added.
Scotiabank said in a separate statement announcing the acquisition, that until approvals are obtained, conditions met and the transactions close, all its banking operations will continue as usual.
Additionally, it announced that its subsidiaries in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will enter into a 20-year distribution agreement with Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited, to sell their insurance operations and partner with Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited to provide an expanded suite of insurance products and services to customers in those two countries