American Express Bank Ltd. Selling Geneva Unit
NEW YORK (AP) _ American Express Bank Ltd., the international banking arm of financial giant American Express Co., said Thursday it agreed to sell its Geneva subsidiary to a Swiss firm for $1 billion in cash.
The sale of TDB American Express Bank to privately held Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements will allow American Express to focus on more established businesses overseas, said G. Richard Thoman, president of American Express International Corp.
″Our goal is to concentrate on global businesses where we are already market leaders - card products, travelers checks, travel services and financial services ... and to seek partnerships that complement our businesses,″ Thoman said.
American Express International was formed in July to help American Express expand globally.
Under terms of the agreement, TDB will be combined with CBI’s operation and a new bank called TCB-CBI will be formed. CBI will own 80 percent of the new operation and American Express will hold a 20 percent equity stake.
American Express would not disclose how much it paid for that minority stake.
The new company will be headed by Edgar de Picciotto, managing director and principal shareholder of CBI.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.
American Express Bank has assets totaling $16 billion, including $14.5 billion from client funds. The bank does not break down assets of individual units.