Ljubljana – NLB, Slovenia’s largest bank, has obtained all the required permits to take over an 83% stake in Komercijalna Banka in line with the February contract, NLB said in a press release on Tuesday.
The takeover of the bank which the Serbian state sold to NLB in February for EUR 387 million is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
That the takeover is being finalised was clear as NLB appointed a new Komercijalna Banka management board at an extraordinary shareholder meeting on 11 December.
The nine-strong management board will be led by NLB management board member Archibald Kremser and will also feature NLB chairman Blaž Brodnjak.
In line with the Serbian bank privatisation regulations, NLB is not required to launch a mandatory tender offer for the rest of the shares in the Serbian bank.
The takeover will increase NLB’s market share in Serbia from less than 2% with its NLB Banka Beograd to 12%, making it a leader in the area of the former Yugoslavia.
NLB considers Serbia one of its key strategic markets and intends to further expand there.
The acquisition of Komercijalna Banka is the first for NLB after it received substantial state aid as part of a national bank bailout in December 2013.
In exchange for the EU-approved state aid, NLB was restricted in its operations, including by not being allowed to engage in takeovers.
The restrictions were lifted once NLB was privatised, with the state retaining a controlling stake.