Qatar sells Barclays warrants worth $1.19b; 6.7% stake held

LONDON - Qatar Holding sold the last of the Barclays warrants it acquired during the financial crisis, triggering a £740 million ($1.19 billion) stock offering by the banks that arranged the transaction.

By Alexis Xydias And Howard Mustoe (Bloomberg)

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Published: Tue 27 Nov 2012, 11:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:47 PM

Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs Group sold as many as 303.3 million shares in the British bank to money managers for 244 pence apiece, the bottom of the 244 pence to 248 pence range used to canvas investor interest in the stock, according to a term sheet obtained by Bloomberg News.

The Qatar fund will remain the biggest shareholder in the London-based bank with its 6.7 per cent stake unchanged. Shares of Barclays have climbed 36 per cent since the bank announced a plan in 2008 to raise £7 billion of capital from investors including the Abu Dhabi and Qatar sovereign wealth funds to avoid a government bailout.

“We remain a supportive strategic investor in Barclays, and maintain our confidence in the long-term prospects for the business,” Qatar Holding chief executive officer Ahmad Al Sayed said in a statement on Sunday.

Barclays fell as much as 4.3 per cent to 243.3 pence in London trading and was down at 243.75 pence in midday trading, bringing the gain for this year to about 38 per cent.

The sale “does remove the last bit of overhang from the 2008 recapitalization,” Sandy Chen, an analyst at Cenkos Securities in London who recommends selling the shares, wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “So the capital footings can be regarded as more stable now.”

Qatar Holding

“Barclays welcomes Qatar Holding’s message of confidence in its long-term prospects and continues to appreciate the consistent support it has received since Qatar Holding became its largest shareholder,” Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins said in the statement.

John Varley, CEO at the time and the predecessor of Robert Diamond, tapped sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East to avoid a UK government bailout that may have overhauled management, capped executive salaries and banned dividend payouts. Qatar made £615 million by selling shares in Barclays in October 2009, a year after the bailout.

The transaction comes as Barclays grapples with a criminal probe by the UK Serious Fraud Office into fees it paid in 2008 to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as part of the 2008 transactions.

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