Dutch challenger bank Bunq valued at $2 billion in investment deal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Netherlands-based challenger bank Bunq has agreed on the terms of 160 million euros ($194 million) in investment by a British private equity firm, valuing the Dutch business at $2 billion, two sources familiar with the discussions said.

Bunq was established nearly a decade ago by Ali Niknam, who has invested roughly 100 million euros of his own capital in the venture and is also its only shareholder.

Bunq, which offers online banking services in 30 markets, including the entire European Union, passed 1 billion euros in user deposits this year.

The COVID-19 crisis is not regarded as a financial crisis in that many banks are well-capitalised and private equity firms are willing to invest as they seek higher returns in a climate of record high stock prices and negligible interest rates.

The investment is pending regulatory approval, the sources said, declining to name the investor. They asked not to be named because the matter is not yet public. Bunq declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8250 euros)

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by Barbara Lewis