The Irish government’s sale of a 25% stake in Allied Irish Banks (AIB) signals both the latest step in the bank’s recovery and the end of an era for Ireland.
The initial public offering (IPO) is the biggest on the London Stock Exchange since Glencore’s $10 billion deal in 2011, and the second-largest globally this year, second only to Snap’s $3.4 billion raising.
Although lawyers on the deal say initial groundwork began years ago, the IPO stage was fast-moving, with much of the work being done in the period from January 2017. The UK’s surprise snap election in June, and subsequent unexpected result that saw the Conservatives lose their majority, was a slight hiccup - but the deal still managed to go ahead as planned.
“For a deal of that size that’s probably the quickest you’re ever going to be able...