BA-CA finalizes acquisition of Hebros Bank


  • BA-CA subsidiaries in Bulgaria: 10% market share put them at strong 3rd place
    in the country
  • Strong joint position with around 220 branches and 600,000 customers

By 1st March 2005 Bank Austria Creditanstalt has finalized the acquisition of Hebros Bank. The sellers of the 99.9% interest are SWC BV and SWR Investments, independent investment companies. Details of the purchase price have not been disclosed. The purchase price is slightly higher than twice the book value and is in line with the strategic importance of the acquisition.

"The strong joint position of the two Bulgarian banks puts them at 3rd place in Bulgaria among banks. It is a perfect basis for further growth." says BA-CA CEO, Erich Hampel.

The two Bulgarian subsidiaries of BA-CA HVB Bank Biochim and Hebros Bank hold an excellent position in the Bulgarian banking market. Together they serve more than 600,000 clients. With combined total assets of about BGN 2.6 billion (1.3 billion euro) HVB Bank Biochim and Hebros Bank become a strong number 3 among banks in Bulgaria.

Jointly they are especially well-positioned in the lending business: their combined market share of 11.4% makes them Bulgaria's second-largest lender. The two banks are a very close second in the area of business loans, with a combined market share of 11.2 per cent. They rank third in the retail lending sector with a combined market share of 10.6 per cent. In the deposits of clients business the two banks are the number 4, with a market share of 8.3 per cent.

BA-CA will hold nearly 90 percent. 10 percent will be held by HVB Bank Biochim. The directly held equity interest of HVB Bank Biochim in Hebros Bank ensures a direct link and close co-operation between BA-CA's two Bulgarian banking subsidiaries right from the start.

The remaining 0.1 percent will be held by minority shareholders. CA IB, the investment banking arm of BA-CA, and the Austrian law firm Wolf Theiss as well as Ernst & Young Bulgaria acted as advisors to BA-CA on this acquisition.

Preparation for integration started

The integration process starts with the closing of the acquisition. During the integration the two banks will operate in parallel. It will be completed in 2006. The first consolidation of Hebros Bank will occur with the 2nd quarter of 2005. The new Management Board of Hebros Bank was announced as follows: Peter Harold, CEO of HVB Bank Biochim, additionally will take over the function of CEO of Hebros Bank. Ludmil Gatchev will leave the Management Board of HVB Bank Biochim and will become a Member of the Management Board of Hebros Bank.

Alexander Tsatchev (Corporate and Retail) and Vesselin Denchev (Operations and IT) will remain on the Board of Hebros Bank. These appointments are subject to approval by the country's authorities.