Russia’s Sberbank inks deal to buy VBI for 585–645 mln euros

MOSCOW, Sep 8 (PRIME) — State-controlled Sberbank, Russias largest bank has signed legally-binding documents to buy 100% stake in Austrias Volksbank International (VBI), excluding VB Romania unit, for between 585 million euros and 645 million euros, Sberbank said in a press release Thursday.

Sberbank signed the agreement with Osterreichische Volksbanken (OVAG), which currently holds 51% in VBI, as well as with German banks DZ Bank and WGZ Bank, which jointly own 24.5 %, and Frances Banque Federale des Banques Populaires (BFBP), which holds an equal share amounting to 24.5% in VBI.

The final value of the deal, which is subject to approval by regulators in Russia, Austria, and countries in Central and East Europe which VBI operates, depends on the companys financial results for 2011.

As the deal is closed, Sberbank is expected to assume responsibility for up to 2.5 billion euros provided to VBI by its current shareholders, while OVAG or a group of banks led by OVAG is to provide Sberbank with 500 million euros of funding for five years.

Sberbank plans to close the deal by the end of 2011 or by February 15, 2012 as the latest, Sberbank President and CEO German Gref said. Sberbank also plans to merge its unit in Ukraine with VBIs unit in this country, he added.

VBI has a presence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Romania, Ukraine, and Austria. Its assets, excluding VB Romania, were at 9.4 billion euros as of June 30.


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