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5. Feb. 2021 - Press release

Bank Frick fully family-owned again

The Kuno Frick Family Foundation (KFS) acquires all shares in Bank Frick held by Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (Net1). With the purchase of 35 percent of the capital, KFS now holds all shares in the Liechtenstein Bank. By consolidating the share capital with KFS, the founding family underlines its long-term ownership strategy for Bank Frick.

Bank Frick fully family-owned again

"With the Frick family as owners, the responsibilities are clear and we are a guarantor of stability,” says Chairman Mario Frick.

Net1 sells the 35 per cent stake it holds in Bank Frick to KFS. The Frick family now holds all shares in the Bank again. The purchase price is USD 30 million. Alex Smith (CEO of Net1) is thus leaving the Board of Directors of Bank Frick.

In 2017 and 2018, Net1 acquired a total of 35 percent of Bank Frick's share capital from KFS. The purchase agreement from 2017 also provided for a purchase option of a further 35 per cent. Net1 exercised this purchase option in October 2019. Shortly before the purchase was to be completed – in April 2020 – Net1 withdrew from the acquisition of a majority stake in Bank Frick. The background to this was Net1's new strategy, in which the European market no longer plays a role. “As a result, there are only a few points of contact between Net1 and Bank Frick,” says Mario Frick, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Frick and representative of the owner family.

Amicable cooperation with Net1 despite challenges

With Net1's withdrawal from taking a majority stake in the Bank, the Frick family realigned its ownership strategy. “Net1 signalled early on that it was open to a sale,” says Frick. This was very beneficial to a quick agreement on the buyback of the shares.

“Despite all the challenges over the past four years, the cooperation with Net1 CEO Alex Smith and his predecessor Herman Kotzé has always been extremely constructive and amicable,” Mario Frick underlines. “For this, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Net1 on behalf of the Bank and the owner family, and especially to Alex and Herman.”

Being family-run is an added value

“We have learned that our clients and our employees see an added value in a family-run bank. With the Frick family as owners, the responsibilities are clear and we are a guarantor of stability,” says Chairman Frick.
KFS is not out to make a quick profit, but is oriented towards the long term, says Mario Frick: “We can imagine a participation of a strategic minority partner in the future. This partner must fit the Bank and should be oriented towards the long term. Because we focus on continuity and reliability. Bank Frick's customers and employees want to know where they stand.”

About Bank Frick

Bank Frick specialises in banking for professional clients. The Liechtenstein bank provides a fully integrated offering of classic banking and blockchain banking services. Its clients include fintechs, asset managers, payment service providers, family offices, fund promoters, pension funds and fiduciaries.

Bank Frick has been family-run since its foundation as a licensed universal bank in 1998, and it adopts an entrepreneurial approach. The Bank is 100 per cent controlled by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation. The Bank employs over 140 members of staff at its Balzers office and operates a branch in London, UK.

Bank Frick is one of Europe’s pioneers of the regulated blockchain banking sector. Its offering covers trading and custody of crypto assets, as well as token sales. The Bank also develops tailored crypto-structuring solutions for intermediaries.

In addition to its highly regarded basic services, Bank Frick’s classic banking offerings cover services for funds and issues, focusing on formulating European (AIF, UCITS) and national fund solutions. In the capital market sector, Bank Frick develops tailored financial products for intermediaries and supports them along the whole issue process, acting also as a custodian bank.

Bank Frick is the only Liechtenstein bank with acquiring licences from Visa and MasterCard, and it can process card payments globally for payment service providers and their online merchants.

In 2019, Bank Frick took over the fintech company Tradico AG, which specialises in finance for goods purchasing for SMEs, and acquired a majority stake in the fintech company AG, which operates area2Invest, a digital investment platform for classic and tokenised financial products.


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