Maubank’s RS6 billion consortia that never happened!

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MauBank is the third largest bank in Mauritius and the government wants to sell it off to a new ‘consortia’.

However, the attempt failed because Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth’s negotiators and consultants did get the new consortia on board.

The bank is wholly owned by the Government of Mauritius. But early this year the authorities moved to divest 80% of their stake in Maubank.

Since May, they were looking for a new party to acquire the bank, but they failed to do so.

The directives, indeed, came from the Government House. The consultant, with offices in the UK and Mauritius, and the ‘official’ negotiators did not get a new owner.

The price is too high or the potential buyer’s have issues with the financial regulatory framework in Mauritius? We won’t know what’s up with the deal.

To the negotiators, the government then said it believed the private sector was apt to bring the bank forward in its next stage of development.

Whilst the bank was never publicly on the market for acquisition, the Government ‘secretly’ planned a number of approaches.

We do not have details of those approaches, but the above information is more likely one of the steps taken. That is a negotiator was to rope in a new consortium that would take up 80% of Maubank.

A brief history of Maubank

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The Mauritius Post and Cooperative Bank (MPCB) Ltd, established in August 2003 by the government of Mauritius is a merger between New Co-operative Bank Ltd and the Post Office Savings Bank.

On January 4, 2016, the MPCB acquired the assets and liabilities of the National Commercial Bank (formerly Bramer Banking Corporation) and subsequently; the MPCB changed its name to MauBank Ltd.

THE NEGOTIATOR: GRANT THORNTON

Word on the international market got out that Grant Thornton, Mauritius, was the given full authority by the Government to negotiate with potential acquirers. They were to recommend a party if appropriate.

The government intended to remain a minority shareholder in the bank but would not take any active part in its operations. This was supposed to give confidence to the new buyer.

THE PRICE: RS6 BILLION

The government wanted to sell the entity for Rupees 6 billion or an equivalent figure of $180 million.

Grant Thornton had a set of criteria for the ‘client’ to abide with, including BOM’s rules and regulations, of course.

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