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Dutch schemes’ NIB Capital considering options

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NETHERLANDS - NIB Capital, the merchant bank owned by the two largest Dutch pension schemes, ABP and PGGM, says it is currently considering its options for the future.

NIB Capital’s corporate secretary Hans Rijnberg told IPE that reports in the press that it will be sold, either as a whole or in parts, are not reality.

Rijnberg stated that NIB Capital is assessing its so-called medium term action plan. All future options of the merchant bank are being discussed, such as a possible listing, merger, continuation of the current situation or full out sale.

No decisions have been made at present, as the plan has just been instigated by the board. The first results of this are expected during the first quarter of next year. Goldman Sachs has been appointed as advisor by NIB Capital.

The impact of the current major shareholders, ABP and PGGM, remains unclear, but according to Rijnberg, the current action has been instigated from within the company.

No real pressure has been put on the management by either ABP or PGGM. There is also no pressure on the two pension funds to divest the bank.

The issue of schemes’ non-core activities was bought to the fore recently by the Staatsen commission and politicians have called for funds to stick to their core business.

Spokespeople from both schemes acknowledged that NIB Capital is not a core business activity.

Analysts expect a possible sale of NIB Capital at present will only bring around 1.5 billion euros, which is way below the two billion euros PGGM and ABP have put into the merchant bank.

Earlier this month The Hague-based NIB reported that net profit in the first nine months rose 83% to 117 million euros from 64 million a year before. Total assets under management rose 57% to 3.1 billion euros.

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