CEFC plans to increase stake in J&T to 30%

By bne IntelliNews September 4, 2015

bne IntelliNews -


China's CEFC China Energy Company Limited has increased to 9.9% its stake in Slovak J&T Finance Group (JTFG) from the previous 5%, the closely held investment group announced on September 3.

The move is in line with the Chinese company’s expansion plans in Europe and comes just one day after it announced that it plans to buy a building in Prague to serve as its European headquarters. The deal will also bolster J&T, which has always pursued an aggressive investment strategy.

CEFC plans to increase its stake in JTFG, one of the biggest investment groups in Slovakia, to 30% and will request the permission of banking regulators in the countries where JFTG is present in the coming days.

“In CEFC we have found a partner with the same vision as us as regards development possibilities in our region, where we want to grow, both organically and through acquisitions,” J&T co-founder Patrik Tkac said.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Following CEFC’s stake increase, the remaining 90.1% in JTFG is equally divided between Tkac and the other co-founder of the financial group, Ivan Jakabovic. JTFG Group’s equity amounted to €1.234bn at the end of June.

The cooperation between CEFC and J&T started last October, when Czech President Milos Zeman led a trade delegation to Beijing accompanied by J&T representatives. During that trip, J&T signed a strategic cooperation agreement with CEFC. Tkac said at the time that the agreement, aimed at providing both sides with new opportunities in the financial services field, was just the first step towards deeper cooperation, which could even result in both entities being connected through a minority stake.

J&T Group is mainly active in private and retail banking, administration of assets of private clients and institutions, investment banking and project financing. It has activities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Russia. It owns among others J&T Banka and Slovakia's Postova Banka.

CEFC is the sixth largest privately-owned company in China. It is active in the finance, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Over the past months, a number of Chinese companies have shown interest to invest in the region. China National Nuclear Corporation(CNNC) has reportedly been conducting due diligence ahead of a likely offer for Enel’s 66% stake in Slovenske Elektrarne (SE). However, the company, which had already missed the May 9 bidding deadline, has not submitted any offer. In neighbouring Czech Republic, local media has named pharmaceutical producer Xiuzheng Pharmaceutical and Fosun Group as potential investors. 

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