On 31 May 2001, BMCI tendered a bid for a 99.4% stake in the ABN Amro Bank Group's Moroccan subsidiary with its network of 20 domestic branches and its representative office in Amsterdam. ABN Amro Bank Morocco is ceasing operations, a decision consistent with the worldwide strategic plan to streamline international retail banking activities ABN Amro announced in May 2000.
The BMCI and ABN Amro boards of directors have approved the takeover bid, which they consider fair and in the shareholders' best interests. A memorandum of agreement was signed on 17 June 2001.
This acquisition will be followed by a merger. It remains subject to approval by Moroccan authorities and completion of an audit by BMCI in coming weeks with support from BNP Paribas to finalize terms of the deal. The closing date is set for 30 September 2001.
This acquisition will enable BMCI to boost its development prospects by capitalising fully on ABN Amro Bank Morocco's long-term development potential: its base of 24,000 customers offering substantial synergy and business-development opportunities and its high calibre staff that will be integrated into the BMCI organisation.
The ABN Amro Bank Morocco takeover furthers the ambitious development plan "Horizon 2000" pursued by BMCI in recent years. This plan calls into play substantial human, technical, and financial resources and exploits important synergies with the BNP Paribas group. That strategy has enabled the BNP Paribas Moroccan subsidiary to establish a sound basis for growth, enhance performance, bolster profitability, and thereby gain market share. Today, via this operation, BMCI is strengthening its position as the leading bank on the Moroccan market.
This acquisition is consistent with the BNP Paribas development strategy targeting development of international retail banking, a sector where the Group has demonstrated consistently high earnings performance.