EBRD exits Bulgaria's MKB Unionbank

By bne IntelliNews May 27, 2013

Hungary's MKB Bank, the majority owner of Bulgaria's fourteenth-largest lender, MKB Unionbank, bought the remaining 3% of the local unit from the EBRD thus raising its stake to 100%, the bank said on its website. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

MKB Bank acquired a 60% stake in local UnionBank in 2006. In 2008, it raised its stake in the local subsidiary to 94% after Bulgarian minority shareholders exercised their contractual put options.
In July 2012, MKB Bank bought another 3% of the local unit from the EBRD thus raising its stake to 97%. The EBRD's exit is in line with the terms stipulated in the shareholders' agreement and in consensus with MKB Unionbank's majority shareholder MKB, the EBRD commented back then. The EBRD bought 15% of the capital of the Bulgarian bank in 2002.

In March, Capital daily reported that First Investment Bank (FIB), Bulgaria's third largest lender in terms of assets, has submitted a binding offer to acquire MKB Unionbank.

MKB Bank, is a subsidiary of German Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB). In 2012, BayernLB was rescued by its home state of Bavaria and in exchange it committed to reducing its balance sheet by 51% in order to repay EUR 5bn of state aid. According to unconfirmed reports, the price offered by FIB for the local MKB unit is close to BGN 100mn (EUR 51mn).

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