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OTP lodges best Abanka bid: Dnevnik
Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 14:11
The race to acquire Slovenian banking player Abanka is hotting up as national daily newspaper Dnevnik reports that Hungarian peer OTP has submitted the best bid for the company.

Reuters picked up on the article, which said the company had offered to pay around EUR 300.00 million for the business.

However, the reports have not been confirmed as none of the parties involved have commented on the situation.

News of a potential Abanka sale emerged in January 2018, when Lidia Glavina, boss of state asset custodian SSH, told Dnevnik that the company could be privatised in the first half of last year.

In September, an EBRD official told Reuters that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development could pick up a stake in the company.

According to the most recent Dnevnik report, while OTP is interested in taking over Abanka, it also has its eye on SKB Bank, Societe Generale’s Slovenian division, and has carried out due diligence on the business.

Reuters said the Slovenian government hopes to sell the Ljubljana-headquartered bank in its entirety by mid-2019 so as to gain approval from the European Commission for state aid to the bank in 2013.

Abanka was founded in 1955 as a branch of the Yugoslav Bank for Foreign Trade and has been active under its current name since 1989.

As of the end of December 2017, the company had total assets of EUR 3.65 billion and employed 1,047 people.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 369 deals targeting commercial banks announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019.

The most valuable of these was worth USD 28.09 billion and took the form of an acquisition as BB&T signed on the dotted line to pick up US-headquartered SunTrust Banks.

This is considerably larger than the second-placed deal, which was announced earlier this week and in which Iran-based Bank Tejarat unveiled plans to conduct a USD 7.29 billion capital increase.

© Zephus Ltd