Qatar National Bank (QNB)has received all necessary regulatory approvals for the deal to buy London-based Ansbacher Holding, a subsidiary of South Africa’s First Rand. QNB signed a share purchase agreement with Ansbacher in July (MEED 9:7:04).

QNB will acquire all Ansbacher shares at a £15 million ($27.8 million) premium to the net asset value of the business. The total cost of the completed transaction is estimated at £135 million ($250 million). Total assets of Ansbacher are about £1,000 million ($1,853 million).

Ansbacher has been seeking a new strategic partner since First Rand informed shareholders in 2003 that the subsidiary no longer formed part of its overall strategy.

For QNB, the deal serves its objectives of expanding its wealth management products for a growing high net worth client base and of increasing activities in Europe. Ansbacher will remain as a separate brand within the QNB portfolio and new branches and services are set for launch in 2005. QNB is Qatar’s largest bank, with assets of some $9,900 million at the end of the third quarter.