Erste Group Bank To Buy 24.12% Stake In Romania Unit

Date : 09/14/2011 @ 2:52PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : C.R. Bard, Inc. (BCR)
Quote : 307.48  1.9 (0.62%) @ 4:03PM

Erste Group Bank To Buy 24.12% Stake In Romania Unit

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Austrian bank Erste Group Bank AG (EBS.VI) said Wednesday it will acquire 24.12% stake in its unit Banca Comerciala Romana S.A. (BCR.YY) for about EUR435 million in cash and stock, after reaching an agreement with four of the five minority shareholders.

"It has always been our strategy to hold the highest possible stake in our subsidiaries and we are glad to have now this possibility also in Romania," Chief Financial Officer Manfred Wimmer said.

The bank reached a deal with SIF Banat Crisana, SIF Transilvania, SIF Muntenia and SIF Oltenia to buy 2.62 billion shares in BCR saying the cash portion of the deal will be financed from retained earnings, while the share swap will be funded by issuing up to 16.1 million new shares over the course of the transaction using existing capital.

The deal is subject to the successful completion of the respective SIF corporate approval processes.

After the deal, Erste Group's stake in BCR will increase to 93.52% from 69.4% stake it held previously, while the participating SIF's will hold up to 1.0% stake in Erste Group after the deal.

The bank has been in discussions with BCR's five minority shareholders over alternatives to listing the unit on the Bucharest stock exchange, and with this deal the participating SIFs will waive their rights to request the listing of BCR, as well as to special dividends, Erste Bank said.

-By Neetha Mahadevan, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29 725 500, neetha.mahadevan@dowjones.com




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