NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ largest bank, Bank of Cyprus, said Friday it has rejected three successive cash bids over the last three months by LSF XI Investments LLC to buy all its share capital on the grounds that they “fundamentally undervalue” the financial institution.
In a statement, the bank’s Board said the first bid was made on May 5 at a price of 1.25 euros ($1.26) per share, followed by a second 15 days later at 1.31 euros ($1.32) per share.
The third bid by the Dallas-based, Cayman Island’s registered LSF XI Investments — also known as Lone Star — was made July 8 at a price of 1.51 euros ($1.52) per share.
The Board said it “unequivocally” rejected the bids because apart from undervaluing the company and its future prospects, they were “not in the best interests of the company.”
It added that the Lone Star buyout attempt also doesn’t “adequately address the complexities of completing a transaction to acquire Bank of Cyprus, given its strategic importance to Cyprus.”
The Bank of Cyprus has been weighed down by bad loans since a 2013 financial crisis that forced a nearly bankrupt Cyprus to secure a multibillion-euro rescue deal from its eurozone partners. It also resulted in the seizure of hundreds of millions in uninsured savings in the Bank of Cyprus and the closure of its second-largest lender, Laiki Bank.
The Bank of Cyprus board said it’s committed to becoming a “stronger, safer and more focused institution” and plans a return to dividend distributions next year.