AnaCap buys Maltese bank

The FIG-focused firm is deploying a recently closed €575m fund, having in May become the first private equity firm to buy a UK bank.

AnaCap Financial Partners plans to captialise on growth in Malta’s international banking market with the purchase of Mediterranean Bank.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Catering to Maltese and international high net worth individuals, the 4-year-old private bank hadn’t “reached critical mass” before the onset of the credit and wider financial crises, AnaCap principal Chris Patrick said in a statement. “As part of the bank’s natural expansion and development it did need extra capital and expertise and we are very pleased to be providing both.”

AnaCap said it will provide fresh capital to improve Mediterranean Bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio, but stressed that “no legacy assets or additional bad debt issues are expected to arise”.

Patrick also noted that Malta’s competitive tax regime, EU membership status and standing as an OECD onshore location make it particularly attractive for private banking.

AnaCap became the first private equity firm to purchase a UK deposit-taking institution in May when it purchased UK leisure and property lender Ruffler Bank, agreeing to inject up to £80 million over coming years. It has since merged it with Base Commercial Mortgages, an existing portfolio company, and renamed the entity Aldermore Bank. Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners – one of AnaCap’s LPs –  said this week it would invest £45 million into Aldermore.

London-based AnaCap closed its second financial services-focused fund on €575 million in May, nearly doubling the size of its first fund. Limited partners in AnaCap’s second fund include the New Jersey Division of Investments, Goldman Sachs and fund of funds managers Allianz Private Equity Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and Adams Street Partners.