Rothschilds Shows Global Elite continuing their bottom up wealth distribution Agenda.
PARIS (Reuters) - The Rothschild banking dynasty is to consolidate its operations in France and Britain under one holding company to make its capital base look stronger under new tougher regulations whilst maintaining the family's grip on the business.
The move shows that even one of the best-known names in banking, whose roots date back to the 18th century, is having to adapt to regulatory push for a safer industry after the financial crisis of 2008.
Under the plan, the main holding company, Paris Orleans, will issue new shares and swap them for minority stakeholdings in its French and British subsidiaries.
The resulting elimination of separate minority shareholders in businesses like London-based investment bank N.M. Rothschild & Sons and the elevation of those minority interests to a stake in the holding company will boost regulatory capital under the incoming Basel III regime.
No cash changes hands, but Basel III measures give a higher weighting to capital held this way.
At the same time, Paris Orleans will adopt the takeover-proof French legal status of "societe de commandite", a limited-partnership structure that will strengthen the family's grip and maintain majority voting rights even though it could end up with a smaller stake.
"It is the completion of the process of unification for the group," Gerard Worms, Vice-Chairman of Rothschild Europe, told Reuters. The unified structure already exists at a management level and now will happen at the shareholder level, he added.
Under French law, a transaction of this nature means Rothschild must offer to buy out minority shareholders in Paris Orleans, so it is making an offer of 17 euros per share, or a premium of 4.2 percent on Wednesday's closing price.
However, Rothschild has obtained guarantees from some Paris Orleans shareholders including Jardine Matheson Group and German insurer Allianz not to tender their shares for cash, which would limit the cost of acceptance by others.
Shares in Paris Orleans were up 3.31 percent at 12:13 p.m. British time, to 16.85 euros, giving it a market value of 531.7 million euros (440.5 million pounds).
If no Paris Orleans minorities accept the offer, the Rothschild family and its allies will own less than 50 percent of the stock, down from 58.4 previously, but they will still have a voting majority.
David de Rothschild, current chairman of Rothschild Group, will become chairman of the new vehicle. He is the great, great, great grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who founded the dynasty in Frankfurt.
The race to adapt to the Basel rules, designed to crack down on banks' risk-taking in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, has seen banks across the industry slash jobs and sell assets to cut costs and shrink their balance sheets.
The revamped Rothschild model of limited partnership is favoured by other family-owned companies like Michelin or Hermes, which makes hostile takeovers virtually impossible.