NAB closer to Great Western sale after pricing IPO

NAB is one step closer to offloading US lender Great Western Bank (GWB) after floating the bank on the New York Stock Exchange at US$18 per share.

As announced on August 29, NAB plans to sell 100 per cent of its ownership of GWB over time, subject to market conditions.

The progressive sale of GWB is expected to increase the group’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio, however the recognition and timing of this benefit remains subject to APRA’s determination.

Yesterday’s offer comprises 16 million shares or 27.6 per cent of GWB’s outstanding common stock at a price of US$18 per share.

Gross proceeds realised by NAB will be US$288 million.

NAB has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2.4 million shares of GWB’s common stock.

After the completion of this offering NAB will beneficially own 72.4 per cent of GWB’s outstanding common stock (or 68.2 per cent if the underwriters’ option is exercised in full).

“Today is an important step in the next stage of our strategy in focusing on building a stronger core Australian and New Zealand franchise,” NAB Group chief executive Andrew Thorburn said.

“While the price is lower than expectations the IPO had strong demand despite the recent volatility in the US equities market,” Mr Thorburn said.

“Pleasingly, the deal attracted strong representation from a broad range of quality investors with the book well covered,” he said.

“We are now on our way towards executing our plan to sell 100 per cent of GWB.”

GWB’s common stock is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 15 October 2014 US time, under the ticker symbol ‘GWB’.

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