More than 98 per cent of shareholders (98.3%) in the Serbian bank, Eksimbanka, have accepted the terms of a takeover offer from Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA). The offer is being extended to 17 January to attract the remaining 1.7% of shareholders. BA-CA, which was already active in Serbia through HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro, is now the fifth largest bank operating in Serbia.
“By acquiring Eksimbanka we will significantly strengthen our market position in Serbia and Montenegro,” says Erich Hampel, CEO of Bank Austria Creditanstalt. Together with Eksimbanka, Bank Austria Creditanstalt now holds a market share of 5.3 per cent in Serbia.
In a tender procedure, Bank Austria Creditanstalt made the best offer for the purchase of a 58.7 per cent interest in Eksimbanka. An agreement to purchase the shares was made with the sellers of the controlling interest – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungs-gesellschaft (DEG), the EBRD, the investment management company Futura Investment, and SEEF Holding, a member of the Soros financial group – and signed on 19 November 2004.
The Bank Rehabilitation Agency held 12.3 per cent of the shares in Eksimbanka, and the remaining 29 per cent were freely floating. Due to legal requirements in Serbia, a binding public takeover offer was submitted to all shareholders. The price offered was 3,688.59 dinars per share. The offer was valid from 6 to 27 December 2004 and was accepted by 98.3 per cent of the shareholders.
Eksimbanka has total assets of Euros 144 million (at 30 September 2004) and a market share of 2.4 per cent, which makes it the twelfth largest bank in the Serbian market. With a country-wide network of 32 offices and a total of 300 employees, the bank serves about 60,000 customers.
Eksimbanka was created in 1991. It was the first Serbian bank to receive capital from international investors, and has been extensively restructured since then. Today, Eksimbanka operates an extensive branch network for retail customers, while its commercial arm focuses on small and medium-sized businesses.
BA-CA has been active in Serbia since December 2001 through its subsidiary HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro. HVB Bank is currently the ninth-largest local bank, with total assets of about Euros 180 million, 160 employees, 7 branches and some 12,000 customers. HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro and Eksimbanka together serve more than 70,000 customers through 39 branches. With combined total assets of about Euros 320 million, the combined banks become the fifth largest provider among banks in Serbia. It is planned to integrate HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro and Eksimbanka by the end of 2005.