Friday 24 November 2017

US financial firms and sovereign wealth funds pile into jumbo AIB float

AIB CEO Bernard Byrne. Photo: Shane O'Neill Photography
AIB CEO Bernard Byrne. Photo: Shane O'Neill Photography

Gretchen Friemann

Dozens of top-tier financial institutions along with several sovereign wealth funds snapped up shares in AIB's initial public offering but no single investor gained a disclosable stake, according to senior sources.

Last week's selldown by the Government of a near 29pc stake funneled €3.36bn into State coffers in what ranks as the second largest float globally, behind the €3.9bn raised by social media giant Snapchat in February. 

It is understood TIAA-CREF, the US financial services behemoth which manages $889bn worth of assets, and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC, are on the register. 

The  Blackrock, Fidelity, Wellington and Capital Management are also thought to hold stock, along with Franklin Mutual, M&G Investment Management, the Irish unit of Zurich Life and Pimco.

Details of AIB's new heavy-hitting owners come as the bank's CEO Bernard Byrne prepares to mark the completion of the IPO with a bell-ringing ceremony on the floor of the Irish stock exchange tomorrow. 

The display of pageantry brings to an end three years of pain-staking preparation, according to AIB executives involved in the float. The deal priced at €4.40 last week with shares rising 5.7pc by the close of conditional trading on Friday. 

Data provided by Bloomberg shows Davy and Goodbody, both advisers to the IPO, handled the bulk of the buy and sell orders on Friday, with close to 30pc of the register changing hands. 

As the  Hedge funds received a fraction of their orders, with Silver Point Capital, York Capital and Castle Hook Partners, the hedge fund run by a team of former money managers from Soros Fund Management, among the opportunists approached by the syndicate, according to sources.

No hedge fund made it into the top 15, underscoring the Government's policy of prioritising long-term, blue-chip investors.

Irish Independent

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