Chinese group acquires majority stake in BIL

Hong Kong-listed investment company Legend Holdings Corp. has agreed with Luxembourg-based Precision Capital the purchase of its 89.936% stake in Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL).

The deal is subject to several approvals including these of the European Central Bank and Luxembourg financial market watchdog CSSF, as well as that of Legend Holdings’ shareholders.

The proposed deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. The acquisition entity is Beyond Leap Limited, a wholly owned branch of Legend Holdings incorporated in Hong Kong.

The remaining 9.993% of the Luxembourg banking group will be retained by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Established in 1984, Legend Holdings is a diversified investment group focusing on a number of sectors including financial services, innovative consumer services, agriculture and food, and IT.

As at 31 December 2016, the company’s assets totalled €43.92bn.

BIL was acquired by Precision Capital, along with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in 2012.

Since 2012, the Luxembourg-headquartered banking group has seen its assets under management rising by 30% to €37.7bn while it reported a common equity Tier-1 ratio of 13.4% at end 2016 – up from 10% four years ago.

Legend Holdings has unveiled plans to maintain and further invest in the development of the BIL brand in Luxembourg, Europe and worldwide.

Following the completion of the transaction, Luc Frieden will remain BIL chairman, while Hugues Delcourt will remain CEO.

Liu Chuanzhi, founder and chairman of Legend Holdings, said: “This is an important and exciting strategic investment for Legend. Financial services is one of Legend Holdings’ key target industries. BIL’s asset scale, revenue and profit growth potential, and its business stability meet Legend’s pillar assets criteria. It affirms
Legend’s target of investing in pillar assets.

“We believe that as a long-term strategic shareholder, Legend can add value to the international business development opportunities and application of financial technology of the bank, and realize our mission of building great companies.”

George Nasra, CEO of Precision Capital, said Legend Holdings was the right partner for BIL as it moves into its next phase of its sustained growth and expansion.

He specified that the transaction will not impact KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb), of which Precision Capital holds 99.9%.

“We remain committed to supporting the long-term stability and growth of KBL epb,” Nasra said.

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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