(Adds quotes and details)
LJUBLJANA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Slovenia’s largest bank, NLB , said it had signed a contract on Wednesday to buy 83.23% of Serbia’s third largest bank, Komercijalna Banka , for 387 million euros ($421 million).
It expected the transaction to be completed in the last quarter of 2020, subject to the approval of the European Central Bank and the central banks of Slovenia and Serbia.
“As the largest of our core foreign markets, strengthening our presence in Serbia … has been a key strategic priority for the group,” NLB CEO Blaz Brodnjak said.
“As a result of the transaction, NLB’s market share in Serbia will increase to over 12.1% by total assets, making NLB the third largest banking group in the country.”
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said in the joint statement that the government was satisfied with the price achieved.
The deal values the whole bank at 465 million euros but Serbian regulations do not require NLB to buy the remaining minority share.
NLB, which has been privatised over the past two years, has market capitalisation of about 1.2 billion euros and operates in Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Slovenia still controls 25% of NLB and plans to keep this stake for the long term. ($1 = 0.9201 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Kevin Liffey)