Dutch bank NIBC considering IPO among strategic options: Reuters

Dutch bank NIBC [NIBCAP.UL] said on Wednesday it is reviewing its strategic options, which include a possible initial public offering of shares.

Owned by private equity firm J.C. Flowers, the Hague-based bank also reported a 37 percent rise first-half operating income to 226 million euros ($266 million) from 165 million euros in the same period a year ago, amid a thriving Dutch economy.

NIBC attributed the rise to a 19 percent increase in interest income, “strong fee and investment income on the corporate client side, increased mortgage volumes and lower funding spreads.”

NIBC is mainly active in mortgages and loans to small and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands, Germany and Britain.

“Backed by our current shareholder, we have recently commenced a review of our strategic alternatives, which may include a potential Initial Public Offering,” said CEO Paulus de Wilt in a statement. “The review is still in a preliminary stage and a final decision will only be made at a later date and be dependent upon market circumstances.”

NIBC’s book value at the end of the first half stood at just over 2 billion euros, an indication of its potential market value in an IPO or sale.

JC Flowers paid 1.8 billion euros when it bought the bank from Dutch pension funds in 2005.

The American investment firm prepared NIBC for an IPO a decade ago but had to change course when the financial crisis crippled the bank, which had made large bets on U.S. subprime mortgage loans.

NIBC was the first in a number of Dutch banks, including ING (INGA.AS) and ABN Amro (ABNd.AS), to need state support to survive the financial crisis. It paid off the last of its debt to the government in 2014.

NIBC has undertaken a major overhaul since the crisis, adding retail services such as mortgage loans and savings accounts.