RBS Sells Luxembourg Fund Admin Unit to Blackfin Capital Partners

Aug 24 2015 | 8:08am ET

Royal Bank of Scotland has sold its Luxembourg fund business to private equity group Blackfin Capital Partners.

The transaction was announced August 18. It is considered part of the state-owned bank’s retrenchment as it focuses more on U.K. retail and commercial banking.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the price was reportedly at a premium to book value, according to the Financial Times citing an unnamed source.

The bank’s Luxembourg-based fund governance business, called RBSL, is an independent custodian of fund assets and claimed approximately £20 billion of assets under administration at the end of 2014. Its sale is part of a strategy to reduce RBS’s global footprint in a wide-ranging effort effort to stem persistent losses at the U.K-based bank.

“We are very pleased that BlackFin Capital Partners is buying RBS (Luxembourg) S.A. This is a good outcome for customers and staff, and provides customers with certainty that we will continue to provide a market leading service,” said Revel Wood, CEO of RBSL, in a statement.

“Our common objective is to capitalize on RBSL’s assets – a highly qualified team, a strong platform and a proven business model – to seize the growth opportunities arising in the asset management industry,” noted Laurent Bouyoux, president of Blackfin.

The sale is not a complete exit from Luxembourg. RBS still operates a wholesale banking branch in Luxembourg, according to the FT. 

The sale of RBSL is the latest in a string of asset sales made or planned by the bank. It recently sold Coutts International to Union Bancaire Privée, while it plans to sell the company’s entire stake in U.S.-based Citizens Bank by the end of this year.

Completion of the RBSL transaction is subject to regulatory approvals by Luxembourg regulators, and is expected to close by the fourth quarter. 

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