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Sabadell Bank Closes Acquisition of JGB Bank from Jaime Galinski Bacal

With JGB included, Sabadell claims it now manages more than $20 billion of business volume.

Jaime Gilinski Bacal


Seven months ago, Columbian born business man agreed to sell JGB Bank in Florida, for $56 million in cash. In a way, he sold it to himself, as the bank which then agreed to the purchase was Banco Sabadell, in which Bacal was the largest investor with about a 9% shareholding.

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JGB is a small community bank, based in Doral, Florida, with more than $500 million in total assets. After a normal period of significant review by financial regulators, Banco Sabadell’s deal to buy JGB Bank finally closed at the end of last week, and was announced by the company yesterday. After various closing adjustments, the final price paid was just a little less, at $49.6 million, with the purchasing entity being Banco Sabadell’s US subsidiary Sabadell United Bank.

Mario Trueba, President and CEO of Sabadell United Bank, said, “We are pleased to welcome the clients and employees of JGB Bank to Sabadell United Bank, ” adding, “We look forward to providing all of our clients with enhanced banking services and a more extensive footprint as a result of this strategic acquisition.”

With JGB included, Sabadell claims it now manages more than $6 billion of international volume in Florida, and over $14 billion of business volume in the Americas – though it is not entirely clear what it means by the term “business volume, ” which is probably not synonymous with business assets.

Jaime Galinski Bacal had owned JGB bank, named with his initials, since 1998. For Galinski Bacal, the merger into the Banco Sabadell group represents the culmination of a significant increase in his visibility within the bank. Banco Sabadell is itself a huge financial institution with a $250 billion asset base.

Last September, Banco Sabadell announced it was raising $1.8 billion of new equity capital through a two-phase stock offering. Jaime Gilinski Bacal purchased shares in the institutional investor phase of the offering, and in the process ended up with a 9% stake in the bank to become its largest single shareholder.

Unlike with some Spanish banks these days, a number of whom have experienced difficulties, the purpose behind this purchase was not to bail out some bad loan positions, but instead to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet to prepare for the tougher balance sheet requirements of Basel III. These new protocols, which have been laid down by the Bank for International Settlements, reflect new and more stringent capital requirements for international banks, and are quite soon coming into force. On completion of the total offering last October, Banco Sabadell ended up with an over 11% core Tier 1 capital ratio, or just about as strong as the best banks anywhere.

Jaime Gilinski Bacal is Chairman of his private holding company, JGB Financial Holding Company. According to Forbes Billionaires List he has a personal net worth of $3.2 billion as of May 2014.

Born in Columbia, he lives in London with his wife Raquel and his family. His father, Isaac Gilinski, made a large fortune with two successful ventures, snack foods maker Yupi and plastics firm Rimax. Following Spanish naming conventions, he also carries his mother’s family name Bacal, explaining his double-barreled surname.



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