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Pension funds pick up more of Exista from Kaupthing

ICELAND - Icelandic pension funds have bought a further stake in financial services group Exista from Kaupthing Bank, the bank announced today.
 
Kaupthing, Iceland's largest bank, said it had privately placed 2.8% stake with a number of institutional investors as part of the process of listing Exista on the Iceland Stock Exchange. How many pension funds were among these investors, the bank could not say.
 
"Kaupthing Bank placed 300m shares in Exista with institutional investors at a price of ISK21.5 (€0.21) a share, generating proceeds of ISK6.4bn (€7m)," the bank explained.
 
The shares sold represented 2.8% of the total share capital of Exista, reducing Kaupthing Bank's shareholding in Exista to 12%. The bank generated capital gains of ISK3.4bn (€4m) from the sale.
 
"There was a considerable excess demand for the shares in Exista, with investors subscribing for 10 times the number of shares on offer," the firm said. Hence it was decided to exercise the authorisation to double the number of shares on offer.
 
IPE reported in early August that nine Icelandic pensions funds had already bought 6.1% of Exista's total share capital.
 
The sale, which realised an ISK5.7bn profit, represented around 30% of Kaupthing's holding of the company.
 
Between Monday and Thursday next week the company will sell a further 65m shares (0.6% of the total Exista share capital) to the employees of Exista and to the public, also at ISK21.5 per share.
 
It is planned to list Exista, one of the strongest companies in Iceland with total assets of more than ISK300bn and the largest owners of the unlisted Icelandic Telecom, on the Iceland Stock Exchange on September 15.
 
Kaupthing started unwinding its equity holdings in Exista, which has an estimated value of ISK288bn, in May.
 
The bank decided on the move after it came under fire for allegation of cross-ownership: Exista has a 25.7% stake in the bank and Kaupthing held around 21%.

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