The Irish government has confirmed it will be floating state-owned Allied Irish Banks (AIB) in London and Dublin.
The initial public offering (IPO) will see the government dispose of a 25 per cent stake in the lender.
It is thought the float deal could value the bank at €12bn, which would make it London’s biggest flotation since Glencore went public in 2011 with a valuation of £36bn.
The government said the offer is expected to take place in the coming weeks, with publication of the prospectus and announcement of the price range in mid-June.
Finance minister Michael Noonan said:
The government’s long-held policy is that the state should exit its banking investments in a measured and prudent manner, returning ownership to the private sector over time.
The strong progress made by AIB and current market conditions mean that now is the right time to commence this process and proceed with an initial sale of approximately 25 per cent of the state’s shareholding in AIB, as provided for in the programme for a partnership government.
Today’s decision is a significant step in the continued normalisation of the state’s involvement in Ireland’s banking system and reaffirms the government’s commitment to recovering its investment in AIB for the benefit of the Irish people.
A number of banking giants have been drafted in to work on the float. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davy and Deutsche Bank are joint global co-ordinators, while Rothschild is independent financial adviser to the Irish government.
AIB was listed on both the London Stock Exchange and Irish Stock Exchange before being bailed out in 2010 by the Irish government, which provided €21bn of funding.
Currently, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund owns a 99.9 per cent stake in the bank.
In January, Noonan said the flotation of AIB was likely to come in May or June.
The government was delaying the flotation until after the result of the French presidential election, which was won by Emmanuel Macron earlier this month.
Noonan had indicated that the 8 June UK election would not cause any delays.