Its binding bid to buy Lombard Bank is as clear as mud.
As a listed company Global Capital have a legal obligation to announce to the market important information to avoid rumours and speculation. They did make an announcement two days ago but it had the opposite effect. They claimed the offer to buy half of Lombard Bank’s shares was “supported financially by York Capital, a leading private equity fund with over 25 billion Euro under management and by other institutional and private investors.”
The next day York Capital said it was doing no such thing. When the Times of Malta challenged Global Capital’s Paolo Catalfamo to explain he apologised for announcing York’s involvement when it had not yet been agreed but insisted their binding bid was still on.
It has then to be asked. Can Paolo Catalfamo explain how the company will finance a bid to acquire Cyprus Popular Bank’s 49.01% stake in Lombard Bank?
And its exposure can even be greater than that.
Global Capital, through its insurance subsidiary, already has a 5.4% stake in Lombard Bank and acquiring a further 49.01% would make Global Capital breach the controlling interest threshold triggering the obligation to launch a Mandatory Take Over bid under the Listing Rules and the EU Take Over Directive. That could mean having to buy the whole bank.
Unless there is some odd exemption coming Global Capital’s way.
In any case some clarity about how the bid is being financed is now imperative.