Austrian Erste Group is launching an offer to buy-out minority stakes in Romania’s largest bank by assets BCR. The offer is open to minority shareholders – mainly the bank’s employees, but excludes the SIFs (Romanian investment funds).
Austrian owned Erste Group currently holds a 93.57 percent stake in BCR, after the last buy-out from SIFs during September and October last year. Unlike previous offers, this voluntary buy-out is open for an undetermined period of time, according to Erste Group. SIF Oltenia is the only of the SIFs which still holds a stake in BCR, 6.3 percent.
The Austrian banking group has put up an initial price of RON 0.75 per share (just over EUR 0.17), which represent a “significant premium,” according to Erste. The initial price is valid from March 8 through June 30 2013, and is subject to quarterly adjustments. Erste’s offer covers around 21.1 million shares – or 0.13 percent of the bank’s shares, which at the initial price would put the value of the offer at some EUR 3.5 million.
Full details of the Erste Group offer for BCR shares. (In Romanian)
BCR posted a net loss of EUR 277 million last year, when its provisions went up by 68 percent, to some EUR 813 million. The loss is a first for BCR, which has only posted partial losses so far, never a year-long loss.
Read full article on BCR 2012 financial results.
Austrian Erste Group owns Romania’s Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), the largest local lender by assets. Erste Group was founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank. The group employs more than 50,000 people and has 17 million clients across the region. Erste Group operates over 3,000 branches in eight countries – Austria, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia and the Ukraine.