U.S. firm agrees major deal to take over Latvian bank Citadele

  • 2014-09-16
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian owned Citadele bank will come under U.S. ownership after a deal was agreed today

U.S. firm Ripplewood Holdings will take over Latvian owned bank Citadele, Latvia's Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma has confirmed today.

Following several hours of debate, Latvia's government approved the deal on Tuesday. Straujuma said the offer was supported by part Citadele bank shareholder, he European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A sales agreement would be coordinated in the near future, the PM added. 

The Prime Minister refused to disclose the fee for the take over.

In July, Latvia's government offered the sale of the bank to U.S. fund Ripplewood Holdings for 113 million euros.

This fee is the smallest amount which the government could sell the bank without incurring losses for the state, Latvian State Television reports.

Latvian TV earlier reported that Russian businessmen Yuri Shefler, the largest shareholder in S.P.I. Group, the parent company of Latvijas Balzams, had offered to pay the highest amount for Citadele at 105 million euros.

Citadele was founded in 2010 as a result of restructuring of Parex Bank. Currently, the Latvian Privatization Agency owns 75 percent of shares, whilst 25 percent belongs to European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.