Saradar Bank acquires 49% in Vitas
Saradar Bank SAL announced the acquisition of a 49% stake in Vitas SAL (“Vitas” or the “Company”), a subsidiary of US-based Vitas Group. Saradar Family Office SAL (“SFO”) acted as sole buy-side financial advisor to Saradar Bank. Based in Lebanon, Vitas is engaged in the provision of microfinance solutions to entrepreneurs and individuals with limited income. This transaction is in line with Saradar Bank’s social responsibility strategy to give back to its community through facilitating access to education, healthcare, information and culture. Moreover, the microfinance industry promotes economic development, employment and growth through the support of Lebanese micro-entrepreneurs and local small businesses.
Vitas has continuously proven to be a key player in the Lebanese microfinance industry with a strong management team and 17 years of contribution to the welfare of Lebanese communities; since inception, Vitas has disbursed more than 200,000 microloans amounting to USD350mn. Presently, the Company has over 60 points of sale and 530 collection points through a network of its own branches in addition to a banking partnership model in association with local retail banks.
Commenting on the transaction, Mario Saradar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Saradar Bank said: “The transaction is expected to result in substantial synergies between both entities leveraging on the network of Saradar Bank, its sister companies and subsidiaries in addition to access to capital to fund Vitas’ future business needs. Collectively, this will allow Vitas to accelerate its future growth plans under its current successful management team.”
Vitas represents an opportunity for Saradar Bank to gain a foothold into the highly promising microfinance market in Lebanon in partnership with Vitas Group, a socially-minded investor, who would also contribute in best international practices, standardized procedures in credit, risk management, and human resources, as well as established relationships with international financial institutions.
“We are excited to have a partner that shares our values of promoting inclusive economic growth in Lebanon. This partnership will allow us to leverage Saradar’s infrastructure to exponentially expand Vitas Lebanon’s presence and product offerings across the country. At the same time, Vitas can help to strategically position Saradar as a universal bank that values the financial inclusion of all citizens,” said Elissa McCarter LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer at Vitas Group.
About Global Communities and Vitas Group:
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Founded by Global Communities, Vitas Group is a US-based for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East, aimed at improving long-term development impact on families, businesses and communities through the provision of financial services. Over the last 10 years, Vitas companies have disbursed more than USD1.4 billion to over 535,000 customers with an annual default rate below one percent.
About Saradar Bank:
Saradar Bank, the newly-formed entity following the merger of Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail SAL (“BIT”) and Near East Commercial Bank SAL (“NECB”) in June 2016, offers an integrated range of premier financial services in the fields of Private, Commercial, and Retail Banking, with a network of 19 branches. The Saradar family has been a key player in the Lebanese Banking industry since 1948 initially under the name of Banque Saradar.