Update 3.20pm: The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has suggested the sale of €3.4 billion euro of AIB shares is a significant step for Irish taxpayers.
Almost 29 per cent of the bailed out bank was put up for sale this morning.
The money raised will be used to pay down the national debt.
[timg]paschalDonohoe2_large.jpg[/timgThe Minister said the sale goes some way to recouping taxpayer’s money."Our country has gone through such a difficult path in relation to stabilising the Irish economy and moving it to recovery."The status of the Irish banking system and all that needed to be done to support it was at the very heart of that and the cause of much justifiable anger for the taxpayer."
Earlier: The Government has sold its stake in AIB today at an offer price of €4.40 per share.
Based on the offer price, around the middle of a range of between €3.90 and €4.90 outlined by the Government last week, AIB’s market capitalisation is approximately €12bn.
Total gross proceeds raised in the offer will be approximately €3bn for the Irish Exchequer. It starts the repayment process of the near €21bn the State invested in propping up a stricken AIB nearly seven years ago — although the Government views €6.6bn having already been repaid through dividend and government guarantee payments, the redemption of preference shares, and bank levy payments.
After today’s price setting, AIB’s shares will begin formal trading in Dublin and London early next week on an unconditional basis. Conditional trading begins this morning.
"The successful completion today of AIB’s IPO represents a significant milestone in the Government’s long-held policy to dispose of our banking investments, returning them to the private sector over time," said Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Paschal Donohoe.
"The offer was very well received and attracted high demand from investors everywhere it was marketed, reflecting the strength of AIB’s investment story and prospects, and the attractions of Ireland’s vibrant and growing economy.
"This successful IPO has created a strong platform for the State to recover all the money it has invested in AIB and to further dispose of our banking investments for the benefit of the Irish people."
Commenting on today’s announcement, Bernard Byrne, CEO of AIB, said: "I am delighted that the Government has been successful in selling down their first material stake in AIB and raising c. €3bn in the process.
"This is a landmark day for the Bank and puts the total cash paid to the State since its bailout to almost €10bn.
"The level of investor interest and support for AIB and Ireland is a great vote of confidence in the strength of the turnaround in the Bank and the wider economy. It paves the way for the full recovery of the investment in AIB, over time, as we return to full private ownership."
Additional reporting by Geoff Percival.