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NAB purchase gets Citi’s Asian consumer sale under way

Citi has 13 Asia and EMEA consumer businesses up for sale. The first to be sold, to NAB in Australia, creates a template Citi would love to see used in later deals.

Photo: Reuters

The great Citi Asia consumer sale has its first buyer: National Australia Bank, which is acquiring Citi’s Australia business for A$1.2 billion (US$0.88 billion) of equity. One down, 12 to go; but if they’re all this clean, Citi will be pleased.

NAB is buying the whole Australian business and taking all 800 staff. It is paying a A$250 million premium for a business that has A$12.2 billion of loans and A$9 billion of deposits, including a million credit card customers. All told, it represents a multiple of eight times earnings.

Australian analysts on the call with NAB today considered it a good and relatively cheap deal for the bank. But from Citi’s perspective, the smoothness of the deal will be appealing – particularly if it serves as a good template for the other 12 Asia and EMEA businesses on the block.

Jane Fraser, Citi

Citi has got a deal done very quickly – chief executive Jane Fraser only announced her intention to sell the businesses in April – gets to say it looked after its people, with all staff going across to NAB, and banked a premium, if not a fortune.


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