BOI private banking merger plan case fast-tracked

An application to merge Bank of Ireland Private Banking into Bank of Ireland will be heard at the Commercial Court next month.

The merger application is being made under the Companies Act and, if granted, will mean Bank of Ireland Private Banking (BOIPB), currently registered as a private limited company, will no longer exist as a separate entity from Bank of Ireland.

Because court approval is required for such a merger, Denis McDonald SC, for Bank of Ireland and BOIPB, applied yesterday to have the relevant petition admitted to the Comemrcial Court. Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed to admit the matter and fixed July 21 as the hearing date for the petition.

In an affidavit, Bank of Ireland director Andrew Keating said the merger would result in Bank of Ireland being the successor and surviving company. The aim of the merger is to rationalise and simplify the group organisational structure by having BOIPB operate as a client segment within the retail division of the group, rather than as a standalone legal entity, he said.

In the interests of commercial certainty, it is important the transaction be concluded expeditiously, he said. As it is critical that the banks, their employees and customers have certainty on the timeline, the application was made to the fast-track Commercial Court, he added.

The value of the business being transferred is significant, he said. As of the end of 2016, Bank of Ireland had total assets of €80.8bn and liabilities of €72.7bn, giving a net asset value of €8.1bn.


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