Erste Group buys additional 24% stake in Romania's BCR in combined EUR 435 mln deal
Austrian Erste Group, the majority owner in the largest Romanian lender BCR, has agreed to purchase a 24.12 percent stake in the Romanian lender from the four SIF, minority shareholders in the bank, in a combined share swap and cash deal worth some EUR 435 million in total. SIF Banat Crisana, SIF Transilvania, SIF Muntenia and SIF Oltenia will sell 24.12 percent or 2.6 billion shares in BCR to Erste Group, and in exchange will waive their rights to request the listing of BCR, as well as to special dividends. Erste Group’s participation in BCR is set to increase to 93.52 percent.
The deal values BCR at some EUR 1.8 billion, much below its value when privatized. In 2006, the value of the bank was of EUR 6 billion, following the EUR 3.75 billion privatization of 61.5 percent in the bank. BCR's listing on the stock exchange was one of the items included in the privatization contract.
“Subject to the successful completion of the respective SIF corporate approval processes, the acquisition will be carried out in a series of transactions. SIF Moldova has the possibility to enter into the same agreement if it decides to do so,” Erste Group has announced.
Erste Group will offer its own shares in exchange for 2 million BCR shares, at an exchange ratio of 1 to 127.9. Erste will also pay EUR 102 million for 424 million shares in BCR. The group also plans to issue profit shares for 2011, at a value of some EUR 3 million.
In October 2006 Erste Group completed the acquisition of a 61.9 percent stake from the Romanian Authority for Assets Recovery, the EBRD and IFC. In November 2006 Erste Group acquired a further 7.2 percent in BCR through an offer made to BCR employees. The SIFs have been holding a combined 30.12 percent stake in BCR (SIF Banat Crisana, SIF Moldova, SIF Transilvania, SIF Muntenia – each 6.0 percent; SIF Oltenia – 6.12 percent).
Corina Saceanu, email@example.com
(photo source: Erste Group)