Carlyle, Robertson Among New Owners Of Bermuda Bank

Mar 3 2010 | 8:43am ET

An investor group led by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Carlyle Group has taken a majority stake in Bermuda’s biggest independent bank.

The CIBC-Carlyle group, which includes Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson, has poured $550 million into the Bank of N.T. Butterfield. CIBC and Carlyle each contributed $150 million, with each owning a 22.5% stake in the bank. All told, the investor group now owns 82.5% of Butterfield.

Because of the recapitalization, Fitch Ratings has downgraded the bank’s Individual Rating to 'F' from 'C'. At the same time, however, Fitch has affirmed the bank’s long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-' and short-term IDR at 'F1'.

"The individual downgrade reflects Fitch's view that the bank's level of embedded losses in the securities portfolio necessitated the capital raise. Additionally, BNTB's operating challenges were isolated and not reflective of Bermuda's banking sector conditions," the ratings agency wrote in a press release.

Butterfield has $9.6 billion in assets and offers retail and corporate banking and treasury services in Bermuda, Barbados and the Cayman Islands.

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