UPDATE 1-Wilbur Ross sells 477 mln euro Bank of Ireland stake

Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:08am EDT
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* Ross stake sales worth almost triple original investment

* Placing priced at a 6.7 percent discount

* Bank of Ireland shares down 2.8 percent (Adds share price, analyst quote)

By Freya Berry and Padraic Halpin

LONDON/DUBLIN, June 10 (Reuters) - The sale by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross of his entire shareholding in Bank of Ireland (BoI) was priced at 0.265 euros a share, Deutsche Bank, the placing's bookrunner, said in a statement.

Ross announced on Monday that he would sell his 5.5 percent stake three years after his pioneering investment kept the struggling bank out of state hands, but he added that he remained confident about its prospects.

Ross, whose fund specialises in distressed assets, was among a group of North American investors who bought a 35 percent stake only months after Ireland signed up to an EU/IMF bailout in an early vote of confidence in the debt-ravaged country.

Tuesday's placing was priced at a 6.7 percent discount to Monday's closing share price of 0.28 euros, pricing the holding at 477 million euros ($649 million). By 0859 GMT on Tuesday Bank of Ireland shares were down 2.8 percent.

Ross, who had a stake of about 9 percent before first selling shares in the bank in March, sold those at just below 0.33 euros per share, meaning he almost tripled his investment having bought when shares were trading at 0.10 euros.   Continued...