UK’s Arbuthnot Banking Group has agreed to sell about 5.8 million shares, which represents approximately 31.9% stake, in retail banking subsidiary Secure Trust via a secondary placing.

The sale is expected to be priced at £25 per share, which represents a 10.7% discount to the closing price of the retail bank’s ordinary shares as of 26 May 2016.

The sale will slash Arbuthnot’s stake in Secure Trust from 51.9% to about 20%, generating approximately £145m in cash.

Arbuthnot said it plans to use the sales proceeds for speeding up the growth of the company and its subsidiaries, including the private and commercial banking unit within Arbuthnot Latham, and for developing other businesses.

Arbuthnot said: "At the time of Secure Trust’s admission to trading on AIM in November 2011, the Company indicated that over time it would be willing to see its interest in Secure Trust be further diluted to allow Secure Trust to grow as the opportunities arose, in an appropriate way, to enhance value for all of Secure Trust’s shareholders.

"The growth of Secure Trust in the last four and half years has been substantial, and the Company believes that now is the appropriate time to reduce its holding in Secure Trust to a non-controlling position, in order to broaden the range of strategic options available to Secure Trust."

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