June 26, 2008 / 5:01 PM / 12 years ago

JC Flowers buys into Russia's InvestTorgBank

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian mid-sized bank InvestTorgBank said on Thursday its Russian owners had sold 40 percent of the bank to U.S. buyout firm J.C. Flowers and investment firm FPK Capital for $212 million.

The bank will remain under the control of Russian businessmen and may hold an initial public offering of shares in Russia or abroad within two years, the bank’s chairman, Vladimir Gudkov, told a news conference.

The foreign investors will each control 19.99 percent.

“The bank is not selling and does not intend to sell a controlling stake. We will remain a Russian bank,” said Gudkov, who owned 19.5 percent of the bank as of the end of the first quarter.

Major foreign banks have snapped up mid-sized Russian banks in recent years amid high economic growth and expanding financial operations, but the lion’s share of the market is still controlled by Russian banks, including state giants Sberbank SBER03.MM and VTB (VTBR.MM).

Reporting by Andrei Ostroukh, writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Rory Channing

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