Elsö Lakáshitel (“Ella Bank”) was established to provide mortgage financing to retail customers in Hungary denominated in Hungarian Forints or foreign currencies. RCI I owned 87% of the shares in Ella Bank’s Luxembourg holding company between 2002 and 2007.
Working with management, Royalton transformed what was a limited savings and loans cooperative into a bank focused on residential mortgage lending. Ella Bank received a full banking license and developed an innovative marketing strategy, targeting young, family-oriented, professional customers. Execution of this business plan started in 2003. It consistently performed ahead of targets, becoming the fastest growing bank in the Hungarian mortgage market.
In March 2007, RCI I sold its shareholding in the bank to the French financial group AXA. The exit multiple reached 3.9x of originally invested capital.