Scotiabank’s St. Kitts and Nevis office.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s St. Kitts and Nevis banking operations. The agreement also includes Scotiabanks in Guyana, St. Maarten and the Eastern Caribbean territories, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The purchase price is US $123 million, which represents US $25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US $98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries. This price does not include any amounts required to capitalise the branches post-closing. The agreement, executed on Nov. 27 signalled the commencement of a transaction that is subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.

“This acquisition represents another major milestone for the Republic Group. As we grow and acquire significant positions in our existing markets, it is important that we continue to broaden our footprint, regionally and internationally,” Chairman of RFHL, Ronald F deC. Harford, said. “This agreement, which is subject to all regulatory approvals, affords us the opportunity to reach more clients in the Eastern Caribbean and Guyana, two markets we are familiar with, and build new relationships in St. Maarten.

“We are confident that our expanded presence or entrance in those markets will redound to the benefit of Scotiabank’s clients and employees as well as Republic’s existing stakeholders. I would like to thank Scotiabank for the confidence expressed in our ability to look after their valuable clients, and we are pleased that all impacted employees of Scotiabank in the 9 countries will join the Republic Group.”

The Republic Group’s total asset base as at September 30, 2018 stood at US $10.5 billion, with equity at US $1.5 billion and profits attributable to shareholders for the year ended September 30, 2018 of US $198 million.

This acquisition will increase the Group’s asset size by approximately US $2.5 billion and will be accretive to the earnings of the Group by approximately US $ 0.20 per share. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is advising RFHL on this transaction.

“Scotiabank is proud to work with the Republic Group – a leader in financial services in the Caribbean who is well positioned to invest and grow the business, and to provide customers across the region with leading financial solutions that meet their needs,” said Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.

Harford explained that RFHL’s focus on seeking out expansion opportunities in the Caribbean is a testament to the Group’s confidence in and commitment to the Caribbean region. He added, “We have a proven track record of adding value to the markets we enter, and we look forward to partnering with the teams in these territories to deliver excellence in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social responsibility.”

Republic Bank Limited (RBL) originally called Colonial Bank was formed in 1837. Colonial Bank was the first commercial bank in Trinidad and Tobago and the company evolved with the changing social and economic landscape.

In the 1970’s with the demand for localization, the majority of ownership passed into local hands and in 1981 the Bank changed its name to Republic Bank Limited.

Today, RBL is one of the largest and most profitable banks in the English speaking Caribbean with 15 subsidiaries and over 4,000 employees in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados and Guyana. In 2013, RBL became the first bank in the English speaking Caribbean to become a major stakeholder on the African continent through its acquisition of a 40 percent stake in HFC Bank (Ghana) and in 2015 this stake was increased to 57 percent.

For the financial year ending September 30, 2016, the Group’s total assets stood at TTD 66.86 billion and profit was TTD 946 billion.