Saxo Bank owners close to selling 33% for $960 million?

Danish newspaper Borsen reports without citing sources that two Saxo Bank owners are to sell 33% of the Bank's shares

Update: After digging around I can confirm that this newspaper report is more speculative than not. Perhaps what’s happening is that General Atlantic indeed is close to selling its shares. The founders themselves aren’t selling their part and the valuation mentioned isn’t based on anything concrete.

Danish newspaper Borsen reports without citing sources that two Saxo Bank owners Lars Seier Christensen and Kim Fournais are about to sell 33% of the Bank’s shares for approximately $960 million (the paper reports 5 billion DKK). At this point the owners are still reluctant to sell at this price although it values the bank at almost $3 billion.

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Lars and Kim jointly hold about 60% of the Bank, General Atlantic holds about 22%, a Portuguese Bank holds another 10% and the rest is held by employees. This report seems speculative to me as General Atlantic is the one that is looking to liquidate its investment and it would make more sense that they would be the one to sell first and will not be too hard on the price, unlike the two founders.

Saxo Bank reported about $624 million in revenues in 2010 and $120 million net profit. This puts the multiples at about x5 the revenues and at x24 the net profit, which seems a bit too high to me. However even at this price I think that Saxo Bank is still a solid investment as it has much room to grow worldwide both in terms of presence and offered products. Saxo certainly showed its ambition by acquiring many synergistic businesses such as Synthesis Bank, asset management firms and lately the EuroInvestor portal.

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