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18.04.2007

BA-CA comments on the initiation of proceedings of the Austrian Takeover Commission upon application by a London-based hedge fund: BA-CA again rejects allegations of Polygon hedge fund

Bank Austria Creditanstalt makes the following statements in response to the Polygon hedge fund's application, published in today's "Amtsblatt der Wiener Zeitung" (Official Gazette), for proceedings to be initiated by the Austrian Takeover Commission:

1. The allegations of the Polygon hedge fund that the statement made by BA-CA’s Management Board on UniCredit's takeover bid in 2005 was incomplete or incorrect are completely unfounded. The Management Board acted in the interests of all shareholders of BA-CA, its customers and its employees.

2. BA-CA has already disproved the allegations of the hedge fund and will further disprove them in the proceedings that have now been initiated. At the time BA-CA's Management Board made its statement, a sale of Bank BPH was not under consideration at BA-CA. As Polygon has made an application for proceedings to be initiated, the Austrian Takeover Commission is required by law to initiate proceedings. However, this formal act does not involve any assessment of the Polygon hedge fund's prospects of success.

3. Overall, the integration in UniCredit Group has significantly strengthened BA-CA: the bank has recently taken over the direct and indirect shareholdings in CEE banks as well as banking activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Turkey. At the same time, BA-CA sold its equity interest in the Polish Bank BPH, because it was a requirement of the Polish authorities to have the banking activities in Poland held directly by UniCredit. The valuations of the companies and of the transactions were carried out by independent experts, and fairness opinions were obtained from international investment banks. The allegations of Polygon in connection with the sale of Bank BPH are not becoming more correct by being frequently repeated, they remain wrong.

 IR Release download (PDF 109 KB)