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UniCredit Group and Alfa Group's ABH Holdings reach binding agreement on Ukrsotsbank

  • Bank Austria and UniCredit sell their participation in Ukrsotsbank to ABH Holdings S.A. (ABHH) in exchange for a minority participation of 9.9 percent in ABHH, which is a successful regional banking group
  • Planned transaction reduces Ukrainian business risk and optimizes future capital allocation, it does not involve any cash payments

After exclusive negotiations UniCredit Bank Austria AG and UniCredit SpA have signed a binding agreement to transfer Ukrsotsbank into Alfa Group. In line with the transaction structure UniCredit Group (UCG) will contribute its exposure in Ukrsotsbank to Luxemburg-based ABHH in exchange for a minority participation of 9.9 percent. Thus Bank Austria and UniCredit are going to cede direct ownership of Ukrsotsbank and to become shareholders of a diversified banking group in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) instead. The agreement foresees specific protection rights for both parties including the possibility for UCG to appoint one board member of ABHH and to cause an IPO of ABHH. Furthermore parties agreed on a Put / Call mechanism on UCG´s stake in ABHH after the 5th anniversary from closing. With the planned transaction, subject to the consent of regulatory authorities, UCG is reducing its Ukrainian business risk and optimizing future capital allocation. Bank Austria and UniCredit will cooperate with ABHH in order to support their banking customers in Ukraine also in the future.

"I am happy of partnering with Alfa Group, which is a well-established and highly-reputable banking group with a proven track record in the CIS. The agreement reached meets the interests of both, seller and buyer, equally. ABHH is going to double its market presence in Ukraine in one go, whereas it allows UniCredit Group to optimize its future capital allocation", said Carlo Vivaldi, Head of CEE Division at UniCredit and Deputy CEO at Bank Austria, "Since 2000 we have earned a profit before tax of EUR 14.6 billion in CEE. There is no doubt that the region will remain our engine for growth also in the future."

The transaction, benefitting of the related reduction of the risk weighted assets, does have a substantially neutral impact on the CET1 ratio of Bank Austria. At the closing of the transaction, the cumulative currency effects (amounting to minus 948 million as of September 30, 2015) will be reported in the P&L statement at the then valid exchange rate. However this will have no impact on the regulatory capital of Bank Austria because the currency reserve is already fully deducted from the capital base. The closing of the transaction is expected to happen in 2016.

UniCredit Group is being advised by Rothschild and UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking.

About ABH Holdings S.A.:
ABH Holdings S.A. is a Luxembourg-based investment holding company of Alfa Banking Group investing into several banking activities in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Netherlands. ABHH’s subsidiaries offer a wide range of products and operate in all sectors of the financial market, including interbank, corporate and retail lending, deposits, payment and account services.
ABHH’s subsidiaries has almost 30,500 full-time employees, serves over 14 million customers, while the branch network counts 924 offices. As of December 2015, the total consolidated assets of ABHH amounted over US $36.9 bn while the consolidated shareholders’ equity was approx. $4.5 bn (IFRS).

About UniCredit:
UniCredit is one of Europe's leading commercial banks with strong roots in 17 European countries. Our network, which is present in roughly 50 markets, includes over 7,100 branches and over 127,000 FTEs (as of June 30, 2015).
In the CEE region, the Group operates a large international banking network with almost 2,400 branches (3,400 including Turkey).
UniCredit operates in the following countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and Hungary.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations International
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel.: +43 (0) 50505 56036
Email: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at