Two Bulgarian investors – local bank Investbank and a consortium led by insurer Lev Ins – have expressed an interest in acquiring 100% of Bank Victoria, a wholly-owned subsidiary of bankrupt Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), Capital weekly reported on February 6.
Corpbank completed the acquisition of Credit Agricole Bulgaria in June 2014. Days after the deal closed, Corpbank was hit by a bank run, which led to its bankruptcy. The acquired lender was subsequently renamed Bank Victoria. It is now offered for sale in a package with Corpbank’s BGN115mn receivables against it.
The sale procedure was launched by the bankruptcy trustee of Corpbank in December. The move was approved by the Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund (BDIF), which has paid some BGN3.67bn (€1.88bn) to insured Corpbank depositors.
At end-2015, the total assets of Bank Victoria stood at BGN166.9mn, including BGN59.4mn in cash and BGN59.4mn in loans and receivables. The equity stood at BGN10.9mn. The lender posted a loss of BGN9.3mn in 2015.
Investbank had total assets of BGN1.95bn at end-2015. It is majority owned by Petya Slavova. According to Capital, she is bidding jointly with controversial Bulgarian businessman Delyan Peevski.
An extension of the deadline for selling Bank Victoria is possible, especially in view of the fact that the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) seems to be reluctant to approve acquisitions of commercial banks by Bulgarian investors, the weekly notes. Last September, BNB decided not to approve the acquisition of local Tokuda Bank by Bulgaria’s Industrial Holding Doverie. Tokyo-based Tokushukai Incorporated owns a 99.53% stake of Tokuda Bank.
BNB has already tried to sell Bank Victoria, but said in November 2014 it had not received offers that contain clear financial commitments and are in line with the relevant legislation and regulations. Also in November 2014, some BGN180mn was received from selling a portfolio of corporate and consumer loans of Bank Victoria. Given that the portfolio deal did not include the lender’s non-performing credits, it is very likely that its sale will not generate significant revenue now.
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