Croatia shortlists two bidders in privatisation of lender HPB, two for insurer Croatia Osiguranje

By bne IntelliNews October 11, 2013

The Croatian government decided on Oct 10 to invite Austria's Erste Bank and Hungary's OTP Bank to submit binding offers for the 99.13% stake in state-owned Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB), reported.

It also shortlisted local Adris Group and Polish insurer PZU in the privatisation of close to 50% of Croatia Osiguranje.

Erste has made an initial non-binding offer of EUR 130.2mn for HPB (or EUR 149.51 per share), while OTP has offered a price which may vary between EUR 92mn and EUR 118mn (or between EUR 105.84 and EUR 135.46 per share), deputy finance minister Boris Lalovac said. The bank’s share capital is divided into 878,764 ordinary shares worth a nominal HRK 966mn (EUR 128mn). 

Lalovac stressed that both bidders have a good capital adequacy ratio, sufficient liquid assets and a history of successful transactions in bank takeover deals in Croatia and the region.

Regarding Croatia Osiguranje, Lalovac confirmed that tourism and tobacco company Adris Group has offered EUR 104.2mn for the insurer's existing shares and further EUR 130mn for recapitalisation. Polish insurance giant PZU has offered EUR 142.5mn and EUR 50mn, respectively. The Croatian government plans to ultimately retain a stake of just over 25%, PM Zoran Milanovic said.

Croatia hopes to raise around HRK 2bn from both sales, which it would use to fill its budget gap that is targeted at 3.5% of this year's GDP (the deficit is expected to equal HRK 12bn).

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