Legal notice served on Saudi prince for $458m
The Privatisation Commission served a legal notice to the Saudi prince on Tuesday, asking him to deposit $458 million within December 26 as per the commission's tender participation rules for taking over Rupali Bank.
The notice signed by Barrister Tofaelur Rahman said according to the commission's rules, the highest bidder must deposit the amount offered within the stipulated timeframe, otherwise the commission will take action against them.
Upon getting prior approval from the government high-ups, the Privatisation Commission sent the legal notice attached to a letter to Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud through the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh.
The notice said, "The Privatisation Commission will take unilateral decision to discontinue the sale process with the prince if he fails to deposit the entire amount within the deadline."
After December 26, the prince will be liable to forfeit $100,000 in security money paid to the Privatisation Commission, it said.
Earlier, the commission termed the Saudi prince's latest lowered offer for acquiring Rupali Bank a "breach of international norms" and took advice from the chief adviser and the finance adviser regarding the matter.
On Sunday it emerged that Prince Bandar is proposing a lower amount than he was earlier willing to pay for buying the state's 93 percent stake in Rupali Bank. His new offer is just $185 million while the earlier offer was $458 million.
The prince made the new offer in a letter to army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed, saying he wants to take over the bank "immediately" signing a sales-purchase agreement, and make the payment before the end of December.
The Saudi prince won two separate bids to take over the government's 93.26 percent shares of the bank with an offer of over $458 million while the rest of the shares remain as public issues.
The government decided to privatise Rupali Bank as part of its drives for financial reform and banking sector modernisation.
The Privatisation Commission had invited bids from seven selected organisations chosen through a scrutiny of interested parties both from home and abroad.
The other bidders were Sabrie Capital Worldwide Ltd of Oman, Bank Muscat of Oman, State Bank of India, Maa International Investment Ltd of Malaysia, JJ Finance Ltd of the UK, and a group comprising Domestic Investors Consortium, Summit Industrial and Mercantile Corporation (Pvt) Ltd Bangladesh, National Housing Finance and Investment Ltd, and FMO Netherlands Development Finance Company.