AIB begins process of sounding out interest among foreign investors

Initial discussions have taken place with investors in the US and Britain

AIB chief executive David Duffy said he had initial discussions with investors in the United States and Britain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

AIB chief executive David Duffy said he had initial discussions with investors in the United States and Britain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 


AIB has begun the process of getting investors to come in and start purchasing a shareholding in the bank from the Government, according to its chief executive.

Chief executive David Duffy has said he had initial discussions with investors in the United States and Britain. But considerable work still had to be done before discussions even begin on share price, he said, with a return to profitability next year key to any hope of bringing in investors to purchase from the Government.

“We would like to be able to return to profitability in 2014 and to engage with potential equity investors around a price point of entry which will prepare us to be investable. It is ultimately the Government’s decision, and at what price or when they will accept that investment, as they are the principle shareholder,” he said.

“But our principle objective, and agreed with the Central Bank, the Government and the troika, is to make the bank a profitable one and thereby an investable one.”


Ahead of target
Speaking on a visit to regional offices of the bank, Mr Duffy said they were ahead of target halfway through the three-year restructuring of the bank and that discussions have commenced with potential investors.

“I have been in the US and the UK recently and the purpose of what we are doing in 2013 is engaging with potential investors, but on an education rather than a sale level. That’s like anybody else – they need to see you quite a few times, need to hear from you a continuous story of progress and develop a level of trust and confidence in the outcome.”