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Irish state, Britain’s NatWest to sell 6% stake in Permanent TSB

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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Irish state, Britain’s NatWest to sell 6% stake in Permanent TSB

LONDON/DUBLIN (Reuters) -Ireland’s finance ministry and British lender NatWest Group said on Thursday they would together sell 6% of Irish bank Permanent TSB, the first sale of shares in the lender by the Irish state since 2015.

The two shareholders will each sell 3% in the group to dispose of a combined 33 million shares to institutional investors via an accelerated book building process, they said in parallel statements.

Investor demand for the shares covered the sale, bookrunner Goldman Sachs said a few minutes after launching the deal.

The finance ministry will continue to hold about 59.4% of PTSB, the country’s third largest mortgage lender, after the share sale, while NatWest will retain 13.6%.

PTSB, the smallest of the three domestically owned banks that survived Ireland’s financial crash a decade ago, was effectively nationalised in 2011.

The Irish government cut its 99.2% shareholding to 75% in a share offer in 2015 but has not sold any shares in the bank since.

NatWest took a near 17% share in the bank as part of PTSB’s recent acquisition of around 7.6 billion euros ($8.37 billion) of loans and assets from NatWest’s Irish unit Ulster Bank, which is exiting the Irish market. That further diluted the Irish government’s holding to 62%.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro in London and Conor Humpries and Graham Fahy in Dublin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Susan Fenton)