The Slovenia Times

AIK publishes takeover intent for Gorenjska banka


AIK, owned by Serbian millionaire Miodrag Kostić, announced it would publish a bid for the takeover of the remaining shares within a month.

Sava is part of a consortium that put a 55% stake on sale in mid-2016. The group also includes the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) known as the bad bank, as well as insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav and Abanka where the state is also a key shareholder.

While the position of the remaining consortium members is not yet clear, Sava, where state funds hold a combined 45% and the Luxembourg investment fund York 42%, is pushing ahead, having been ordered to offload its stake by Banka Slovenije, the central bank.

"As far as we know, AIK's offer was far better than the remaining ones, bit it makes sense that the sellers be allowed to decide which offer is better for them," AIK banka's representatives told the STA.

AIK said its plans for Gorenjska banka were in line with the Slovenian bank's existing strategy.

The sales procedure is confidential but media reports have suggested AIK, the US fund Appolo, which also owns NKBM bank, and a fund owned by billionaire George Soros were shortlisted by the sellers.

AIK was seen as having the upper hand since it already owns over 20% of the bank and has been cleared by the central bank to raise its stake to over 50%. Sava owns 37.6%, BAMC holds 6.8% and Zavarovalnica Triglav 4%.

Sava was ordered by Banka Slovenije to offload its Gorenjska banka stake after it sought court-mandated debt restructuring.

Gorenjska banka is one of the most successful and profitable Slovenian banks and the only major bank to do without a state-supplied capital injection in 2013 despite a significant capital shortfall.

It had a market share of assets of 4.7% at the end of September, totalling EUR 1.73bn, which makes it the seventh largest bank in Slovenia.

In the first nine months of the year, Gorenjska banka increased its total assets by 14.6% compared to the end of 2016, while its nine-month profit stood at EUR 4.7m.

At the end of last year, the bank employed around 400 people.


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