Hungary's OTP still in the lead for Slovenian lender NKBM despite halving bid to €150mn - report

By bne IntelliNews November 13, 2014

Hungary's OTP has reportedly halved to €150mn its initial bid for the purchase of 100% of Slovenia's second largest lender, Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (NKBM), daily Dnevnik reported on November 12, quoting unnamed sources.

Even though this amount is equivalent to just around a third of NKBM's book value, OTP remains for the time being the favourite to win the privatisation deal, the daily says. The state-controlled Hungarian banking group is not yet present in Slovenia.

No official information has been disclosed about the bidders for NKBM or the size of their bids. Slovenian state asset management firm SDH said in October that it had received several offers for the sale of the bank but declined to comment further, citing confidentiality terms.

Earlier in 2014 local media reported that OTP was among the interested bidders and its non-binding bid was put at €300mn. The most attractive NKBM asset for OTP is understood to be Postna Banka Slovenije (PBS) and its well developed retail network.

SDH has supposedly approved at least two binding bids - from OTP and US investment fund Apollo. US billionaire Wilbur Ross, known for restructuring failed companies, could also end up among the qualifying bidders.

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