Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) signs agreement to acquire Eksimbanka in Serbia

  • BA-CA will take over the twelfth-largest Serbian bank with 32 offices and 60,000 customers
  • BA-CA’s market share in Serbia will increase to 5.3 per cent

On 19 November evening, Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) signed an agreement to purchase Eksimbanka, a Serbian bank headquartered in Belgrade. The sellers of the 58.7 per cent majority interest are the German Investment and Development Company DEG, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the investment management company Futura Investment as well as SEEF Holding (a member of the Soros Group). Due to legal requirements in Serbia, a binding, public takeover offer will be submitted to all the shareholders of Eksimbanka. "By acquiring Eksimbanka we will significantly strengthen our market position in Serbia", says Erich Hampel, CEO of Bank Austria Creditanstalt. Together with Eksimbanka, BA-CA will hold a market share of 5.3 per cent in Serbia.

The acquisition is subject to approval by all relevant authorities as well as acceptance of the public takeover offer. Details of the transaction will not be disclosed until submission of the public takeover offer, which is planned for the beginning of December 2004. The purchase price will be a double-digit figure in millions of euros. CA IB, BA-CA's investment banking arm, acted as adviser to BA-CA on this acquisition.

Eksimbanka has total assets of EUR 144 million (as at 30 September 2004) and a market share of 2.4 per cent, which makes it number 12 in the Serbian banking market. With a country-wide network of 32 offices and a total of 300 employees, the bank serves 60,000 customers. The bank was created in 1991. It was the first Serbian bank to receive capital from a number of renowned international investors. Eksimbanka has been restructured since then. Today, Eksimbanka operates an extensive and modern network of branches. The bank focuses on small and medium-sized businesses and retail customers. The book value of total equity of Eksimbanka was EUR 15.9 million as at the end of June 2004.

BA-CA has been active in Serbia since December 2001 through its subsidiary HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro. HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro is currently the ninth-largest local bank, with total assets of about EUR 180 million, 125 employees, 4 branches and some 10,000 customers. It is planned to integrate HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro and Eksimbanka by the end of 2005.

HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro and Eksimbanka will together serve 70,000 customers via 36 branches. With combined total assets of about EUR 320 million, they will become number 5 among banks in Serbia. "The acquisition of Eksimbanka provides a strong base for our further growth in Serbia. This transaction will strongly enhance our retail business", says BA-CA CEO Erich Hampel.