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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), November 9 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's government said on Friday the price in an initial public offering of shares and global depositary receipts (GDRs) of Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) was set at 51.50 euro ($58.77) per share and 10.30 euro per GDR.
Based on the offer price, the market capitalisation of Slovenia's largest bank will be approximately 1,030 million euro at the commencement of trading on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (LJSE) and the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the government said in a statement.
The offering comprises 11,818,181 shares of NLB being sold by the government, representing 59.1% of NLB's issued share capital plus one share on admission and equating to an offer size of 608.6 million euro.
A further 1,181,819 shares of NLB are being made available by the government pursuant to the over-allotment option which, if exercised in full, would increase the offer size to 669.5 million euro, representing 13,000,000 shares in total and 65.0% of NLB's issued share capital on admission.
The trading of NLB shares on the LJSE is expected to start at 9.15am CET on November 14, whereas the trading of GDRs on the LSE is expected to start at 8.00am London time on November 14.
“We are very proud of having completed the offering of NLB’s shares. Today's announcement represents a significant milestone in the privatisation process and in fulfilling our commitments to the European Commission,” Lidia Glavina, president of the management board of Slovenia's sovereign holding company SDH, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“The positive response and appreciation received from global institutional investors has highly pleased us and we look forward to welcoming the new shareholders to the register,” Glavina added.
“NLB has reached another important milestone in the process of privatization," said Blaz Brodnjak, president of the management board of NLB. “We are looking forward to opportunities and challenges that the listing on the stock exchange will bring to the company.”
NLB Group had a network of 349 branches as at 30 June 2018, of which 108 branches operate in Slovenia and 241 operate in the banking markets of Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. It is the leading bank in the Slovenian market with a market share of 23.2%, according to data from the country's central bank as of 30 June 2018.
NLB recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of 104.8 million euro ($119.4 million) in the first half of 2018.
Slovenia's government said in July it has decided to launch an IPO of NLB by the end of 2018, aiming to sell at least 50% plus one share of the capital of the bank and to dispose of a further 25% plus one share in 2019.
NLB showed a minor capital shortfall under the adverse scenario of the stress test conducted by the European Central Bank in October 2014.
NLB has been 100% state-owned since 2013, when the Slovenian government stepped in to recapitalise it and two other lenders - NKBM and Abanka, narrowly avoiding an international bailout. The same year, Slovenia committed to the European Commission to sell part of NLB within four years.
In April, the European Commission said the aid granted to NLB by Slovenia in 2013 is unlawful because the government has failed to deliver on its commitment to sell the bank by the end of 2017. The partial sale of Slovenia's shares in NLB is a key commitment to ensure NLB's long-term viability, on the basis of which the Commission was able to approve significant state aid to NLB in December 2013, the European Commission said.
($ =0.87618 euro)