Bank Leumi sells cards business to Warburg Pincus

Bank Leumi sells cards business to Warburg Pincus

Bowing to regulatory demands, Bank Leumi has reached an agreement to sell off its Leumi Card business to Warburg Pincus for $562 million.

Leumi, which owns 80% of Leumi Card, and property developer Azrieli Group, which holds the remaining shares, expect the deal to complete within four months, pending regulatory approval. The Israeli bank estimates an after-tax profit of 234 million shekels upon completion.

The bank says it ran the rule over 17 competing bids for the business, which has been forced onto the market by the country's regulatory bodies in an attempt to foster a more competitive market.

Leumi's main rival, Bank Hapoalim, last month reported that it was exploring a possible IPO for its Isracard unit.

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