Natwest and the Irish finance ministry have sold nearly 55m shares in Permanent TSB, representing about 10 per cent of the Irish bank’s share capital.
The sale reduces Natwest’s share holding from around 16.7 per cent to around 11.7 per cent. The Irish government will continue to hold 57.4 per cent of the bank.
The two said in a surprise announcement last night that they would reduce their stake by a combined six per cent, but the sale was expanded thanks to strong demand. The sale will generate €110.5m (£95m), with both parties receiving half of the proceeds.
Natwest said the disposal will have an “immaterial impact” on its capital position. Both shareholders have committed to not not selling further shares for at least 90 calendar days
Permanent TSB was effectively nationalised in 2011 following the financial crisis with the government taking on a 99.2 per cent stake to the tune of €4bn.
Natwest, which is exiting the Irish market, took a stake in Permanent TSB when it bought a portion of Ulster Bank’s loans and assets in 2021. Ulster Bank is Natwest’s Irish unit.
The stock has soared in recent months as the bank has benefitted from rising interest rates while investors were impressed by its acquisition of Ulster Bank.
Natwest chief executive Alison Rose said: “This transaction represents further positive progress on our phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland.”
Eamonn Crowley, chief executive of Permanent TSB said “this is another important step in normalising the composition of our shareholder base and creating further liquidity in the bank’s shares.”