The UK Government Investments Limited, UKGI, has announced the successful completion of the disposal of part of HM Treasury’s shareholding in NatWest Group plc. The disposal was effected by way of an off-market purchase (the “Off-Market Purchase”) by the Company of 590,730,325 ordinary shares in the Company with a nominal value of £1 each (the “Shares”), pursuant to a contract between the Company and HM Treasury signed on 7 February 2019 and most recently reapproved by the Company’s shareholders at its Annual General Meeting on 29 April 2020 (the “Directed Buyback Contract”).
It would be recalled that NatWest was indicted by the UK’s top financial regulator on criminal money laundering charges.
The price paid by the Company for each Share was, in accordance with the Directed Buyback Contract, 190.50 pence, being the price at the close of trading yesterday on the main market for listed securities of London Stock Exchange plc.
As a result of the Off-Market Purchase, the shareholding of HM Treasury has reduced from 7,509,483,519 Shares, representing approximately 61.7% of the ordinary share capital of the Company, to 6,918,753,194 Shares, representing approximately 59.8% of the ordinary share capital after share cancellation and excluding treasury shares.
Settlement of the Off-Market Purchase will occur on 23 March 2021.
Goldman Sachs is acting as Privatisation Adviser. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as legal counsel to UKGI in respect of English and US law.