First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has agreed to acquire Bank Audi sae, the Egyptian subsidiary of Lebanon-based Bank Audi, for an undisclosed amount.

FAB said that it had signed the agreement to acquire the Bank Audi sae, after conducting in-depth analysis and also after securing the Egyptian central bank’s preliminary nod.

With the acquisition, FAB’s operations in Egypt are expected to significantly increase, making it one of the largest foreign banks in terms of assets totalling more than EGP120bn ($8.1bn).

Bank Audi sae had total assets of EGP83.2bn ($5.3bn) and shareholders’ equity of EGP7.6bn ($479mn) at the end of last September. Its network of 53 branches will complement FAB’s 17 branches in Egypt, noted the UAE-based lender.

FAB Group CEO André Sayegh said: “FAB has a long history in Egypt, having opened its first branch in the country more than 45 years ago. FAB’s first international acquisition accelerates the Group’s expansion in a high potential market, with the addition of Bank Audi (Egypt)’s operations offering the scale, expertise and financial strength to support our growth journey and sustainable returns.

“FAB is committed to supporting customers in Egypt across a full range of retail and corporate banking needs, as well as serving as bridge for trade and investment flows across the MENA region and beyond.”

The deal is expected to close within the next few months, after the receipt of regulatory approvals both from the UAE and Egypt, FAB said.

For Bank Audi, the sale proceeds will be utilised to improve its capitalisation and financial resilience.

Bank Audi chairman and Group CEO Samir Hanna said: “This transaction represents the best outcome for all our constituencies, in particular our customers and our employees in Egypt based upon the challenges we have been facing in Lebanon for the past 16 months.”

“This transaction also represents a strong vote of confidence in the effectiveness of the Group’s governance and business model across the region.”

In May last year, FAB deferred discussions to buy the Egyptian arm of Bank Audi due to the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The talks resumed late in 2020.