The boards of Landsbanki, Burdarás and Straumur Investment bank agreed last night, subject to shareholder approval, to merge Burdarás into Straumur and Landsbankin.
According to the Morgunbladid, Straumur Investment Bank will acquire the operations of Burdarás, under the name of Straumur – Burdarás, while Landsbanki will acquire a few key assets. This means the emergence of a powerful investment bank, Straumur- Burdarás, as well as considerably strengthening Landsbankinn.
Morgunbladid reports that this is Iceland’s largest merger and the largest single transaction ever to take place on the market.
If the merger goes through, Kaupthing will remain Iceland’s largest bank measured by equity, Straumur-Burdarás the second largest, Landsbanki becomes the third largest and Íslandsbanki the fourth.
Jón G. Hauksson, editor business publication Free Trade, Frjáls verslun (sister publication of Iceland Review), said in an interview with Icelandic State Radio, RÚV, that he considers it likely that Islandsbanki will subsequently be merged into Landsbanki.
RÚV, reports that the combined market capital of the three companies amounts to ISK 340 billion, Straumur has a market capitalization of ISK 80 billion, Burdaras is worth ISK 90 billion, and Landsbanki a market capitalization of ISK 170 billion.
“We are just taking advantage of opportunities staring us in the face,” said Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, chairman of Burdarás.
As of last night, Thordur Már Jóhannesson, CEO of Straumur, would not comment on the merger.
According to a released statement Burdarás, Landsbanki and Straumur Investment Bank have called a meeting at 11:00 am today, at Hotel Nordica, to unveil plans for the merger.