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Somers strikes deal to sell BCB

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Deal struck: parent company Somers Ltd has agreed to sell BCB to Provident Holdings
Chris Maybury: leader of investment group that owns Provident

Bermuda Commercial Bank is set to get a new owner after parent company Somers Ltd agreed to sell to investment company Provident Holdings.

Provident is owned by an investment group led by Christopher Maybury, a Bermuda resident, who is promising “a more dynamic” banking option for Bermuda.

The agreement ends a long search for a buyer for BCB. Last year Somers, a financial-services investment company listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, agreed to sell to New York-based Permanent Capital Holdings and in February this year the deal received regulatory approvals.

But in August, Somers scrapped the sale because it said it had received a number of better offers for the bank.

In a BSX filing this morning, Somers said it had “entered into an agreement and plan of merger which will result in the sale of the entire issued share capital of Bermuda Commercial Bank Ltd to the investment company Provident Holdings Ltd”.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory and government approvals. A spokeswoman for BCB said shareholder approval was not required.

Mr Maybury, chairman and founder of Beacon Events Hong Kong and deputy chairman of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, said: “Today represents a significant step forward for banking and financial services in Bermuda as BCB will create a more dynamic option for Bermuda’s residents and business community.

“It would be remiss of me not to thank Somers and BCB’s management for such a professional attitude during our negotiations. We look forward to sharing our vision for BCB with the island once all of the requisite permissions are granted.”

Mr Maybury was a co-owner of Permanent Capital, the investment company whose previous agreement to buy BCB was scuppered.

He has a strong business and entrepreneurial background. He was previously chief executive officer and a shareholder of the Institute for International Research, a company that grew into the world’s largest conference and performance improvement company before it was sold to Informa in 2004 for $1.3 billion.

Mr Maybury also held leading roles at global media organisation News Corporation, including chief executive, European Marketing and CEO, Times Newspapers.

Warren McLeland, chairman of Somers, said: “We expect that under new ownership, BCB can build on the foundations established by Somers and go on to thrive.

“We will update shareholders once the necessary regulatory and Government approvals have been received and the sale can be completed.”

Alan Gilbertson, chairman of BCB, said he was pleased that the bank’s future had been resolved.

“We look forward to working with Mr. Maybury and Provident, when the acquisition is complete, to grow BCB and to offer Bermuda a genuine banking alternative,” Mr Gilbertson said.

“I would also like to thank Somers for its commitment and support to BCB over the past ten years.”

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Published November 20, 2020 at 9:49 am (Updated November 20, 2020 at 9:47 am)

Somers strikes deal to sell BCB

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