Kranj – Gorenjska Banka, the Slovenian bank owned by the Serbian AIK Banka, has signed a deal to acquire the Slovenian subsidiary of the Russian Sberbank. Pending approval by regulators, the merger would create the third largest banking group in the country.
The legally binding contract signed by Gorenjska Banka is part of a larger deal signed on Wednesday between Sberbank Europe and AIK Banka, Gorenjska Banka and AGRI Europe Cyprus Group to acquire Sberbank subsidiaries in Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary, whose total assets amount to EUR 7.33 billion.
The signing of the contract was preceded by an extensive procedure that included many analyses, with the buyers being selected due to their strong regional presence, vision of the future development of the bank, the Kranj-based bank said on Wednesday.
AIK Banka executive board president and Gorenjska Banka chief supervisor Jelena Galić noted the importance of mutual growth and further development, with the commitment to further improve banking services.
“Since 2019, when AIK Banka became the majority owner of Gorenjska banka, the latter has been recording growth, followed by a stable capital and deposit base and improved profitability, encouraging us to continue investing in this part of Europe,” she added.
Once the takeover of Sberbank subsidiaries in Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary is finalised, total assets of the AIK Banka group will increase to more than EUR 11 billion, Galić announced.
Gorenjska Banka chairman Mario Henjak said that the deal created new opportunities for further growth in the Slovenian market that development into one of the lading banking groups in the region.
Last year, Gorenjska Banka was the 7th largest bank in Slovenia in terms of total assets, while Sberbank was the 9th largest out of a total of 14 banks. The merger would create the third largest banking group in the country with a 9.4% market share.
Sberbank Europe, which expanded into Europe mainly through the acquisition of the Austrian Volksbank in 2012, is headquartered in Vienna and operates in eight markets, also in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Sberbank Europe has approximately 773,500 clients, 3,900 employees and 187 branch offices, including 12 in Slovenia.
The Russian banking group recently announced withdrawal from the European market within a year or two, which includes the sale of its majority stake in the Croatian group Fortenova, which includes the Slovenian retailer Mercator.