Citadele investors stand by confidentiality of terms

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The international investors group purchasing state-held shares in Citadele Bank is unwilling to expose to the public eye details regarding its purchase agreement with the government, Economics Ministry spokesperson Evita Urpena told the press Friday.

She said it was important to follow confidentiality requirements to finalize the deal, which will be played out over the course of the next financial quarters. However, the ministry official allowed for some transparency to be requested to appease concerns regarding the haste and secrecy of the sell-off negotiation process.

"Considering the large public interest and the rights to obtain more detailed information about the deal, Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola asked the Privatization Agency to assess a possibility to publish the sell-off agreement or its most important terms," said Urpena.

"The ministry also asked the Privatization Agency to contact with Citadele Holdings LLC and Ripplewood Advisors LLC to ask for their approval of making public the Citadele sell-off deal. Unfortunately, the Privatization Agency has received a letter from their representative saying the investors do not agree to publish the agreement terms," she said.

The agreement was approved by the Latvian government during a meeting behind closed doors on October 28, and it was signed as one of the final acts of the last Cabinet on November 5 before Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma's reshuffled post-election Cabinet continued in the footsteps of her previous coalition government line-up.

Citadele Bank, established from the wreckage of the bailed-out Parex Bank, launched on August 1, 2010. In late 2008 the Latvian government took over Parex, the second largest bank in Latvia at the time, to save it from financial straits during the global financial crisis. On March 23, 2010, the Latvian government ruled to restructure Parex by separating part of the assets to create Citadele Bank, as well as the recovery agency Reverta.

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