China's Legend to make strategic investment in Banque Internationale à Luxembourg
Long-term strategic investment by Legend Holdings to grow BIL franchise in Luxembourg, Europe and internationally
Legend Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed diversified investment group, announced the signing of an agreement with Precision Capital, a Luxembourg-based investment company owned by Qatar royal family members, for the acquisition of Precision Capital’s 89.936% stake in Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), a leading universal banking group headquartered in Luxembourg. This would be the largest take-over of a European bank by a Chinese investor.
The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to approval from the European Central Bank, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier and other relevant regulatory authorities. It also remains subject to Legend Holdings shareholder approval. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will retain its 9.993% ownership of BIL.
Commenting on the announcement, Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance, said: "This agreement demonstrates the interest of Chinese groups in Luxembourg as a leading financial center and hub from which to develop their activities on the European market.”
Legend Holdings, founded in 1984, is a leading diversified investment group. Its strategic investments focus on several major sectors including financial services, innovative consumer services, agriculture and food, and IT. Lenovo Group, one of its portfolio companies, is now one of the world’s leading vendors of personal computers.
The acquisition of BIL represents a long-term strategic investment for Legend Holdings. The company is committed to providing the financial and operational support to maintain and grow the BIL brand domestically and internationally, further enhance its customer offering and support existing management in the delivery of its strategy to achieve sustainable growth.
“This is an important and exciting strategic investment for Legend. Financial services is one of our key target industries. BIL is a well-run and respected universal banking group with strong roots in Luxembourg’s history,” said Liu Chuanzhi, Founder and Chairman of Legend Holdings in a news release.
Luc Frieden, Chairman of BIL, added: "We welcome our new shareholder, who has a proven track record of successful investment in a range of companies and have demonstrated great sensitivity to what makes BIL unique. We look forward to working with the Legend Holdings team to build on BIL’s tradition of excellence that dates back to 1856 as a strong, stable and innovative Luxembourg universal bank.”