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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Ominvest, Bank Dhofar spice up rival offers for Ahli Bank

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Rival suitors Oman International Development and Investment Co SAOG (Ominvest) and Bank Dhofar have submitted sweetened offers for Ahli Bank as competition for the Omani lender heats up. Ahli Bank said its evaluating the two offers the outcome of which will reshape the banking landscape in Oman.


Ominvest, through its Consortium, presented an increased cash offer of 200 bz per share to all Ahli Bank shareholders. This revised offer aims to provide an attractive opportunity for shareholders to participate in the transaction and gain from the potential benefits. Ominvest already holds a significant 8.68% shareholding in Ahli Bank and plans to acquire up to 66.32% of the issued share capital, with a long-term objective of owning 75% of the company's shares.


Under the proposed deal, Ahli Bank will maintain a minimum free float of 25% to comply with regulatory requirements. As part of the offer, Ahli United Bank, a strategic investor, is set to receive the full Offer Price for their 35% shareholding, amounting to a substantial RO 136.5 million.


Simultaneously, Bank Dhofar has made waves with its ambitious plan to acquire the complete shareholding of Al Ahli Bank SAOG. Bank Dhofar's Board of Directors said they have thoroughly evaluated this proposition, aiming to secure 100% ownership of Al Ahli Bank while complying with relevant regulations.


The proposed terms offer existing shareholders of Ahli Bank a choice to receive a cash consideration for up to 25% of their current shares, with the remaining portion settled through newly issued shares by Bank Dhofar. Cash compensation will also be provided to legal shareholders and their affiliates who face restrictions on owning shares in a commercial bank.


To finance the cash portion of the offer, Bank Dhofar plans to tap into its existing liquidity and capital resources, supplemented by contributions from its current shareholders. The proposed exchange ratio for the acquisition is set at 1.2910 of Bank Dhofar's ordinary shares for each share of Ahli Bank.


These acquisition endeavors by Ominvest and Bank Dhofar reflect their strategic focus on strengthening their market positions and expanding their service offerings. The successful completion of these offers is contingent upon obtaining regulatory approvals and garnering support from concerned shareholders.


The banking sector and the wider business community are closely monitoring Ahli Bank's official communication regarding the offers, as it will provide insights into the progress and subsequent developments that may arise.


These acquisition offers represent significant opportunities for Ominvest and Bank Dhofar to enhance their presence in the banking sector and potentially reshape the financial landscape of the region. As the situation unfolds, market observers and industry analysts are eagerly analyzing the implications and potential ramifications of these strategic moves.


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