Slovenia’s competition watchdog clears €444mn Abanka acquisition by NKBM

Slovenia’s competition watchdog clears €444mn Abanka acquisition by NKBM
By bne IntelliNews December 5, 2019

Slovenia’s second largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM) has received clearance from the Competition Protection Agency to acquire the local Abanka in a €444mn transaction, NKBM said on December 5.

The deal is part of the ongoing re-privatisation of banks taken over by the state during Slovenia’s bail-in of major banks in 2013. Ljubljana had committed to the European Commission to privatise Abanka during 2019.

NKBM signed an agreement with the Slovenian State Holding (SDH), which manages state shareholdings, to purchase Abanka’s shares in June 2019.

The bank must obtain other approvals from the competent authorities in order to conclude the transaction. Until the formal conclusion of the transaction, the banks will operate as two separate legal entities, NKBM said in the statement.

Following the acquisition, the combined market share of Nova KBM and Abanka will reach 22.5%, as reported at the time the deal was agreed. 

NKBM’s CEO John Denhof welcomed the decision and described it as "an exceptional opportunity for Nova KBM and Abanka to work together to create an even stronger combined bank, which will have a positive impact on the Slovenian economy".

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