On 4 October 2006, Bank of Valletta plc announced that by its letter dated on the same day, the Government’s Privatisation Unit has informed the Bank that the Government of Malta has decided to take its BOV shareholding off the market for the time being, and to cease any further proactive marketing efforts at this time.
In a separate press release issued by the Department of Information on the same day it was stated that Rothschild S.p.A. as independent financial advisors has completed their initial approach to the markets, and whereas interest was shown, this interest was not of a nature that fell within the strategic and other parameters that Government was looking for.
The Government of Malta stated that it had always made it clear that it would not dispose of its shares at any cost and that any disposal would only be made if a number of criteria were met. These criteria did not just relate to price, but were more concerned with ensuring that any eventual buyer could offer added value to BOV through a strategic fit within the Maltese banking structure whilst offering new products, a strong retail presence with a commitment to the local commercial and financial sector, as well as development and expansion potential and a strong commitment to maintaining BOV as one of Malta’s most important financial and economic institutions.
In the press release it was also noted that none of the interest expressed satisfied all the strategic and other requirements established by the Government of Malta. Consequently, the Government of Malta has decided to take its BOV shareholdings off the market for the time being, and to cease any further proactive marketing efforts at this time.
Meanwhile, the Government confirmed its confidence in the management and Board of Directors of BOV, and has noted with satisfaction that the Bank’s Board and management have not allowed themselves to be distracted by the Privatisation process, as is evidenced by the good results that have been reported by the BOV Group throughout this period.”