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) with ownership of 49% and 51%, respectively. In 1987, Chase divested its ownership stake as part of a shift in its international strategy. NBE acquired that stake, renaming the former joint venture Commercial International Bank (CIB).
Over time, NBE’s ownership stake in CIB declined, falling to 19% in 2006. That year, a consortium led by Ripplewood Holdings acquired NBE’s remaining stake. In July 2009, Actis, a Pan-African private equity firm specializing in emerging markets, acquired 50% of the Ripplewood Consortium’s stake. 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 realization of its investment in CIB by selling 2.6% of its stake on the open market, maintaining its seat on the board. In May 2014, the private equity firm sold its remaining 6.5% stake to several wholly-owned subsidiaries of Fairfax Financial Holdings, making the latter the sole strategic and largest shareholder in CIB. Fairfax is represented on CIB’s Board of Directors (BoD) by a non-executive member.