Government appoints Goldman Sachs to advise on AIB sale


Goldman Sachs has been appointed to advise the Government on the sale of AIB, finance minister Michael Noonan wrote on Monday, as the state looks to recover all 21 billion euros spent on rescuing the country’s second-largest bank by assets.

The appointment of an advisor marks a stepping stone in the efforts to get private investment into AIB after its 2010 nationalisation, but no transaction is likely until the second half of 2015.

The Department of Finance said in a statement that Goldman Sachs was selected after a “mini tender” in December during which banks on a pre-approved panel were invited to bid for the business.

A source familiar with the situation said Goldman Sachs’ pitch included doing the work free of charge. A London-based Goldman Sachs spokesman could not immediately comment.

The Government increased the valuation of its AIB investment to 13.3 billion euros at the end of last year, including 1.6 billion euros of contingent capital instruments, up from 11.6 billion euros a year earlier. It will need to sell the bank at a significantly higher value for the state to get break even on its 21 billion euros investment.

“Much of the banking-related work in the Department of Finance this year will focus on AIB,” Noonan wrote. “Officials within my department are working with AIB on reconfiguring the capital structure. Goldman Sachs International has been appointed to provide financial advice.”

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