Ireland’s AIB buys back Goodbody Stockbrokers for 138 million euros

A general view of an AIB (Allied Irish Bank) logo
FILE PHOTO: A general view of an AIB (Allied Irish Bank) logo outside a branch of the bank in Galway, Ireland, December 30, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 2, 2021

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Allied Irish Banks bought back Goodbody Stockbrokers for 138 million euros ($166.2 million) on Tuesday, more than five times the price it was forced to sell the financial services firm for a decade ago as part of a state bailout.

AIB, one of two dominant banks in the concentrated Irish market, said in December it was in talks with a number of parties to plug gaps in life, savings and wealth products and expected to finalise the transactions in 2021.

AIB said it acquired the entire share capital of the firm for an enterprise value of 82 million euros alongside around 56 million euros excess cash on Goodbody’s balance sheet.

The bank sold Goodbody, a leading Irish provider of wealth management, corporate finance and capital markets services, for around 24 million euros in 2011 when it had to be rescued by the state, which still holds a 71% stake in the lender.

Irish financial services firm FEXCO owned a 51% stake in Goodbody, with the remainder held by the stockbroker’s staff and management.

AIB, which last month struck a deal with NatWest to buy around 4 billion euros of corporate and commercial loans as the British lender exits the market, said on Tuesday it will continue to explore further life and pensions opportunities.

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he consented to a request from AIB to allow bonus structures in Goodbody remain in place. The approval is subject to a ringfencing of Goodbody from the rest of the AIB group, which will remain under a state-imposed ban on bankers pay and bonuses, he said.

“It is important to stress that there have been no changes to the government policy in relation to banking remuneration as a result of this transaction,” Donohoe told a news conference.

($1 = 0.8305 euros)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by David Evans)