The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Why is Lone Star chasing Bank of Cyprus?

Bank of Cyprus has its quirks – such as a sanctioned oligarch as a large shareholder – but it is far from the only European bank with good potential still shunned by mainstream investors.

Photo: iStock

Dallas-based Lone Star’s bid for Bank of Cyprus looks very different from its takeover of Portugal’s Novo Banco. It also stands in contrast to other big US private equity purchases of European banks over the previous decade. Those typically involved deep restructurings and involved banks that could only turn to US financial sponsors to meet European Union privatization deadlines after massive bad-debt pile ups and state bailouts.

Recent deals in this latter vein have included Lone Star’s 2017 purchase of Novo Banco, which involved the good bits of the defunct Banco Espirito Santo. The Cerberus-led purchase in 2018 of HSH Nordbank, now Hamburg Commercial Bank, as well as Apollo’s 2015 purchase of Slovenia’s NKMB and purchase of an interest in Italy’s Banca Carige followed the same pattern.

Wilbur Ross acted as a cornerstone investor to Bank of Cyprus's €1 billion share offering in 2014, following its 2013 depositor bail-in, although Ross never exerted full control.

Panicos Nicolaou, Bank of Cyprus

When Panicos Nicolaou took over as chief executive in late 2019, Bank of Cyprus was still labouring under a non-performing loan ratio of 30%.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree