LONDON, July 19 The Abu Dhabi sheikh who helped
rescue Barclays as part of the British bank's
controversial fundraising during the financial crisis has sold
all of his stake.
A regulatory filing last month showed that Sheikh Mansour
Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of English soccer club Manchester
City, had sold his 6 percent stake in the bank, but the filing
went largely unnoticed.
The stake was worth about 2.4 billion pounds ($3.7 billion)
at current market prices.
The holding was always difficult to track, as it was held by
a number of vehicles, including PCP Gulf Invest 3, Nexus Capital
Investing and Abu Dhabi International United Investments. All of
them are ultimately owned by Sheikh Mansour.
The filing said PCP3 sold 758.4 million shares by June 20.
Mansour had used complex hedging transactions, and may have been
reducing his stake over the last several years while maintaining
the voting rights, and the regulatory filing may have marked the
expiration of those hedging arrangements.
Barclays declined to comment and Mansour and his companies
could not immediately be reached.
Barclays' last annual report said Sheikh Mansour indirectly
owned 783.5 million shares - or 6.1 percent of the shares in
issue - as of March 4. That included 758.4 million shares held
by PCP3 and 25.1 million cash-settled options on shares held by
Yas Capital Limited, owned by Mansour.
Abu Dhabi invested alongside Qatar in October 2008, as
Barclays fought to avoid a state bailout. The bank successfully
raised more than 7 billion pounds, but faced criticism the terms
it offered the Middle East investors was too attractive.
Mansour and Qatar appear to have made billions of dollars
from the bet, as Barclays shares have climbed from around 179
pence at the time of the deal to 320 pence now.
Mansour bought 2 billion pounds of notes that converted into
shares at 153 pence each and received 1.5 billion pounds of
warrants on ordinary shares that could be exercised at 198p. He
also bought 1.5 billion pounds of instruments that paid 14
percent annual interest and was paid 110 million pounds in fees.
He exercised and sold the warrants in 2010, while keeping
most of his shares in the bank.
Barclays is being investigated by Britain's Serious Fraud
Office and the financial regulator for the payments made to
Qatar as part of the 2008 fundraising.