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27.09.2006

BA-CA comments on assertions made by a London-based hedge fund: BA-CA's new role within UniCredit Group is substantially strengthening BA-CA

  • The number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe for which BA-CA is responsible will double to 24 countries
  • CEE business volume will rise from EUR 40 billion to over EUR 60 billion
  • BA-CA expects sustained growth of profits in the new structure
  • All shareholders can benefit from the earnings potential

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) comments on public assertions made by the London-based hedge fund Polygon Investment Partners. The company asserts, among other things, that the planned restructuring of BA-CA does not take the interests of minority shareholders into account. Moreover, Polygon maintains that the sale of Bank BPH is not in the interests of BA-CA and that the purchase price is not fair.

BA-CA makes the following comments on these assertions and publishes the comments in line with the principle of equal treatment of all shareholders:

Integration in UniCredit Group is significantly strengthening BA-CA. Within UniCredit Group, BA-CA assumes extended responsibility for the growth region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE): BA-CA will become the holding company for CEE operations of UniCredit Group. Thus, BA-CA will have access to new markets and will significantly increase its market presence in those CEE countries in which it has been active so far. With the step-by-step implementation of the target structure, UniCredit will transfer to BA-CA its six CEE banks in Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania as a package and as a contribution in kind against a capital increase at the fair value. In addition, BA-CA will acquire HypoVereinsbank's equity interests in banks in Russia and in the Baltic countries through a cash transaction at the fair value. At the same time, BA-CA will sell to UniCredit its equity interest in the Polish BPH at the fair value and against a share in current profits (for the years 2007 to 2009) mainly because – as required by the Polish government – the banking operations in Poland must be held directly by UniCredit. The valuations of the companies and of the transactions were carried out by independent experts. Additionally, fairness opinions have been obtained from international investment banks.

 IR Release download (PDF; 118 KB)