Financial Times

Big names vie for Seylan stake


Some six parties have responded to the Central Bank’s (CB) call for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) to acquire 33 1/3% and invest Rs 5.7 billion while being a strategic partner of the Seylan Bank.

“There are four institutions and two individuals who have sent in EoIs,” a senior CB official told The Sunday Times FT. He said the LOLC Group headed by businessman Ishara Nanayakkara is amongst the interested parties. Sampath Bank announced on Wednesday that it has sent an EoI to the CB.

A banking source said that John Keells Holdings has also sent an EoI, but this could not be confirmed. The senior CB official said that two high networth individuals are also said to be in the fray. He said that it is important to note that this is only an eligibility test where CB screen the parties who are interested to determine if they are fit and proper to run Seylan.

The CB advert said that strategic investors will be permitted to acquire 33 1/3% ownership through this new investment, but within 15 years they are required to reduce their ownership to 15% of the issued share capital carrying voting rights as per the Monetary Board.

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