DUBAI (Reuters) – International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) effectively called off its $6.1 billion takeover bid for Ahli United Bank, Bahrain’s largest lender, saying on Wednesday that further talks were unlikely to succeed.
IBQ, an affiliate of National of Bank of Kuwait, said the two sides could not agree over who would do due diligence on Ahli or for how long.
“In view of this, IBQ feels that further discussions are unlikely to be productive,” the bank said, without making clear talks had ended.
IBQ Chief Executive Michael Williams said: “Put two and two together,” declining to be more specific.
The statement effectively puts an end to what would have been the biggest cross-border acquisition of a Gulf Arab company, as banks in the region look to expand outside their home markets where competition is intensifying.
Kuwait’s Tamdeen Investment Co., Ahli’s second-largest shareholder, said earlier this month it was breaking off talks with IBQ about selling its stake in Ahli. IBQ also said talks had stalled.
Kuwait’s al-Qabas newspaper reported on Sunday other investors from Qatar, as well as from Egypt and Jordan were ready to make a higher offer for Ahli.
IBQ had offered $2.25 per share for 55 percent of the stock and shares for the remainder of the company.
The other investors were offering $2.50 per share and more, al-Qabas reported, without saying how it got the information or identifying the investors.
Ahli stock surged on takeover talk in May and was up as much as 70 percent on the year, before falling back this month as the talks ran into trouble.
Still, the shares were up 36.5 percent this year to Tuesday’s close. They fell 2 percent on Wednesday, before IBQ made its statement.