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19 January 2015

BIL and KBL epb sign agreements in Switzerland and Belgium 

BIL to acquire KBL epb’s Swiss operations as part of focus on major international financial centers;
Puilaetco Dewaay, Belgian affiliate of KBL epb, to acquire BIL’s private banking business in Belgium

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Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) and KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) announced today the signing of two agreements regarding their private banking operations in Switzerland and Belgium.

Under the terms of the first agreement, BIL (Suisse) SA will acquire KBL (Switzerland) Ltd, a wholly owned affiliate of KBL epb, as part of the BIL Group’s strategic focus on major international private banking centers. The transaction will strengthen BIL’s existing Swiss operations and create a sizeable private bank, operating from Geneva, Lugano and Zurich.

Under the terms of the second agreement, Puilaetco Dewaay, the Belgian affiliate of KBL epb, will acquire the business of BIL Belgique, BIL’s recently launched private banking operations in that country.

As part of these agreements, KBL epb clients will have access to BIL’s Swiss booking center, while BIL clients will be able to book assets in Belgium through Puilaetco Dewaay.

The transactions, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are expected to close by the end of the first half of 2015. The terms of these transactions were not disclosed, but they were negotiated on an “arm’s-length” basis.

BIL and KBL epb clarified that, with the exception of these transactions, each banking group will continue to operate its own successful independent business in Luxembourg and elsewhere.

Highlighting the importance of the acquisition of KBL (Switzerland) Ltd, Hugues Delcourt, CEO of BIL Group, said: “Private banking is changing, and these new dynamics create significant opportunities for us to grow and better support our clients. We already have an international footprint and the range of capabilities that individuals and their advisors seek. This transaction means we can offer greater scale, resources and services to our clients in Switzerland.”

Delcourt added: “BIL has a longstanding presence in Switzerland, which has always been the most important office and booking center outside Luxembourg and we look forward to investing further in the success of this operation and potential other transactions in Switzerland. With regards to Belgium, we believe Puilaetco Dewaay is ideally placed to serve Belgian residents looking for a domestic solution. We will work closely with them to ensure a smooth handover.”

Yves Stein, Group CEO of KBL epb, said: “In line with our long-term growth strategy, first announced in early 2013, we remain committed to operating in those markets across our existing footprint where we have the critical mass required to ensure sustainable growth and profitability.

“As KBL epb’s presence in Switzerland is not at such scale, we are pleased to seize the opportunity with BIL to merge these two operations – offering an enhanced future perspective for relevant clients, staff and other stakeholders.

“Moving forward, we will continue to implement our M&A strategy, guided by the strategic priority to establish a leading presence – with sufficient scale to ensure sustainability – in every market in which we operate.”

Stein concluded: “In that regard, Belgium is in many ways a model for our group. Indeed, thanks to both strong organic and inorganic growth, Puilaetco Dewaay is extremely well positioned for the future – even more so following this agreement with BIL Belgique.”