WARSAW--The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has taken a 2% stake in Polish Bank Zachodni WBK SA (BZW.WA) worth 332 million zlotys ($97.6 million), through a new share issue in which only the EBRD took part, the bank said in a statement Tuesday.
EBRD signaled its plan to make an equity investment in BZWBK, controlled by Spain's Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC), in February. The investment is intended to bolster BZWBK's planned merger with smaller Polish peer Kredyt Bank SA (KRB.WA).
Santander agreed to acquire Kredyt Bank from Belgium's KBC Group NV, in an all-share deal, following which the Spanish bank would have controlled 76.5% of the enlarged Bank Zachodni, if the EBRD hadn't taken a stake.
Poland's financial regulator KNF, which has yet to approve the deal, prefers Polish banks to have a free float of at least 25% and remain listed on the stock exchange in Warsaw.
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