The Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Barbados) Ltd.’s potential acquisition of local bank Cayman National Corporation Ltd. is under way, with the Republic Bank opening an offer this week to purchase Cayman National shares.

With the Republic Bank looking to buy up to 74.99 percent of Cayman National’s 42,350,731 shares for US$6.25 apiece, the transaction could reach nearly US$200 million. Republic Bank’s offer to shareholders is open through Oct. 22.

The US$6.25 offer by Republic Bank represents a $1.35 premium over the stock’s listed price, which was US$4.90 as of Tuesday. Before the potential sale was announced in early August, the price of a Cayman National share was US$3.

Cayman National’s notices about the sale state that it is subject to certain conditions, including Republic Bank maintaining a presence in the Sister Islands, retaining the name and branding of Cayman National and its subsidiaries, and keeping the “majority” of Cayman National’s workforce and management team.

The offer is also subject to conditions, such as the Republic Bank acquiring at least 51 percent of Cayman National’s stock, government and regulatory approvals, and approvals by Cayman National shareholders to amend the local bank’s articles of association in order to approve the acquisition.

The board of Cayman National is scheduled to hold a meeting on Oct. 9 to approve the amendment of the articles of association. Cayman National President Stuart Dack said there is currently a restriction on anyone owning more than 10 percent of the bank’s shares, and that the restriction would have to be removed for the transaction to be finalized.

Before then, the board will submit a brief statement on the offer, as well as a directors’ circular that will contain the board’s views on the offer, according to the local bank. The circular will include a report by Deloitte about whether the offer is “fair and reasonable,” Cayman National stated. Mr. Dack said he expects the circular to be sent to shareholders within 10 days.

“Ultimately, the decision will be up to the shareholders,” he said.

Cayman National originally announced the potential sale on Aug. 6.

The Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Barbados) Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republic Financial Holdings Ltd., which also owns banks in Guyana, Grenada, Suriname and Ghana, according to its website.

The institution’s website says that it was originally called Colonial Bank when it was formed in 1837. Colonial Bank was Trinidad and Tobago’s first commercial bank, the website states, adding that Republic Bank has more than 4,000 employees in Trinidad alone.

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