Bank of Ireland stake sale extended as €249m raised

The government of Ireland on Friday extended the sell down of its shares in Bank of Ireland by four months to May 2022, after raising €249 million in the last three months as it reduced its stake in the bank to 9.3% from 13.9%.

The Irish Department of Finance said it sold the shares at an average price of €4.96. The stock is trading around €5.25

It said the Irish government has now recovered almost €6.2 billion in cash from its €4.7 billion investment in and support for Bank of Ireland over the 2009-2011 period.

“Further to his announcement on the 23rd June 2021, The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD today announces the extension of the Bank of Ireland share trading plan,” said the Department of Finance.

“This is a further step in delivering on the Government’s policy of returning the banks to private ownership.

“Proceeds generated from the share trading plan since its launch amount to c. €249m.

“The Government has now recovered almost €6.2bn in cash from its €4.7bn investment in and support for Bank of Ireland over the 2009-2011 period.

“Shares have been sold through the share trading plan at an average price of €4.96 and the State’s directed shareholding in the bank has been reduced from 13.9% to 9.3%.

“The share trading plan was due to end no later than 7th January 2022. The extension announced today means that the plan will now end no later than 20th May 2022, unless further extended by the Minister.”

Donohoe said: “When I announced the launch of the share trading plan in June, I highlighted the benefits of gradually disposing of the State’s investment in Bank of Ireland using this approach.

“Given its success to date, I believe it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to extend the plan for a further period.”

The Department of Finance said shares will not be sold below a pre-determined floor price.

“Citigroup Global Capital Markets will continue to act on behalf of the Minister in executing the share trading plan,” added the Department of Finance .

“Citi will continue to target that up to, but no more than, 15% of the expected aggregate total trading volume in the company is to be sold over the duration of the share trading plan.

“The number of shares sold will depend on market conditions, amongst other factors.

“The Department of Finance is being advised by N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited and William Fry in relation to this transaction.”