BA-CA sells Croatian subsidiary HVB Splitska banka

  • The buyer is Société Générale, the French banking group
  • BA-CA will assume responsibility for UniCredit Group’s Zagrebačka banka

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA), a member of UniCredit Group since November 2005, sells its Croatian banking subsidiary HVB Splitska banka to Société Générale, the French banking group. The agreement was signed on 20 April in Vienna. The transaction is subject to approval by the competent authorities and is expected to be completed by June 2006. The price of the transaction is around EUR 1.0 billion.

HVB Splitska banka has total assets of EUR 3.2 billion, 112 branches and 1,112 employees. At the end of 2005 the bank served more than 460,000 corporate and retail customers.

Sale due to merger control requirements
Under Croatian law, merger control requirements make it necessary to sell HVB Splitska banka. The buyer has been selected on the basis of a tender procedure in line with standard international practises. The investment banks CA IB and Credit Suisse and the law firm WOLF THEISS acted as advisers to BA-CA in the sale process.

Bank Austria Creditanstalt will become the new number 1 in Croatia
As part of its role as sub-holding of the UniCredit Group for operations in Central and Eastern Europe, as established in the restated Bank of the Region agreement, BA-CA will assume responsibility for, UniCredit's subsidiary in Croatia. With total assets of EUR 8.9 billion and a market share of 24 percent, Zagrebačka banka is the number 1 bank in Croatia. With around 5,000 employees serving 760,000 customers through around 130 branches, Zagrebačka banka is a universal bank and is the market leader both in the retail and the corporate customer segment in Croatia.

The regional focus of the bank is in the northern part of Croatia and in the region of Zagreb, but the bank operates branches throughout the whole country.

"Zagrebačka banka has a strong management team and is the number 1 bank in Croatia. The bank further strengthens our banking network, especially in a market which will soon become part of the European Union," says Erich Hampel, CEO of BA-CA. Details of how Zagrebačka banka will be integrated into the BA-CA network are currently being discussed.

UniCredit Group operates the largest international banking network in Central and Eastern Europe. More than 60,000 employees serve around 17 million customers through over 2,900 branches. Within this network, BA-CA is responsible for 24 countries with more than 300 million inhabitants.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Press Relations
Peter N. Thier, tel. 05 05 05 52371
e-mail: peter.thier@ba-ca.com