AIB gets one step closer to an IPO

But it's still unclear when it will go to market...

The Department of Finance has announced that it's appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davy and Deutsche Bank as 'Global Coordinators' to assist in a potential AIB Initial Public Offering (IPO).

This follows a "mini tender competition" - the Department commented that the firms selected have "significant knowledge and experience of large scale equity capital market transactions both in Ireland and across Europe and will be appointed for a period of 18 months."

It adds that this news does not signal any intention or obligation for the Minister for Finance to proceed with an IPO within any particular timeframe - and any decision to proceed with a transaction will be subject to Government approval and market conditions.

Prior to the General Election, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he was ready to trigger an IPO if Fine Gael returned to power.

Commenting on today's announcement he said:

"The appointment of these Global Coordinators is an important step in preparations for the future sale of part of the State's shareholding in AIB. These three firms will work alongside the Department of Finance and AIB to prepare for a potential IPO and ensure a successful outcome for the State."

“There remains no fixed timetable for any sale at this time as it will depend on market conditions amongst other things. These appointments will ensure that the State has the option to sell some of the State's shareholding in AIB during 2017 or indeed early 2018 as provided for in the Programme for a Partnership Government."

Following the financial crisis that State owns 99% of AIB.