Commercial International Bank (CIB) was founded in 1975 as Chase National Bank, a joint venture between Chase Manhattan Bank and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE). In 1987, a shift in its international strategy caused Chase to divest its ownership stake, which NBE then acquired, adopting the new name Commercial International Bank.
Over time, NBE decreased its participation in CIB, eventually dropping to 19% in 2006, when a consortium led by Ripplewood Holdings acquired NBE’s remaining stake. In July 2009, Actis, a Pan-African private equity firm specialising in emerging markets, acquired 50% of the Ripplewood Consortium’s stake. Five months later, in December 2009, Actis became the single largest shareholder in CIB with a 9.09% stake after Ripplewood sold its remaining share of 4.7% on the open market. The emergence of Actis as the predominant shareholder marked a successful transition in the Bank’s strategic partnership.
In March 2014, Actis undertook a partial realisation of its investment in CIB by selling 2.6% of its stake on the open market, but maintaining its seat on the board. In May 2014, the private equity firm sold its remaining 6.5% stake to several of Fairfax Financial Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiaries, making the latter the sole strategic shareholder in CIB. Fairfax is represented on the board by a non-executive member.