Piraeus Bank selling its Serbian operations to local Direktna Banka

Piraeus Bank has entered into an agreement to sell its Serbian banking and leasing operations to Direktna Banka A.D., for a total cash consideration between €58mn up to €61mn, it said on Tuesday.

Direktna Banka, a local Serbian banking group that has been strongly growing its presence in the market, will buy the operations through a combination of direct sale price and simultaneous reduction of capital in Piraeus Bank Beograd AD. The price depends on the financial performance of the divested assets until completion of the transaction, the bank said in its announcement.

The transaction is conditional upon the usual corporate and regulatory approvals, including those of the National Bank of Serbia and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. It represents another step towards the implementation of Piraeus Bank’s Restructuring Plan commitments, as those were agreed with the Directorate General of Competition of the European Commission.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, following the receipt of all necessary approvals and is neutral to Piraeus’ CET-1 ratio.

“In accordance with our Restructuring Plan commitments to reduce our international presence, we are announcing the sale of our Serbian operations to Direktna Banka after a highly competitive sale process,” said Piraeus chief executive officer Christos Megalou. “We believe that Piraeus Bank AD Beograd customers and employees will benefit from being part of an enlarged banking group, and we look forward to the timely completion of the transaction”.

BNP Paribas acted as financial adviser to Piraeus, with Clifford Chance and Andric Law Office acting as legal counsel.