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KBC acquires United Bulgarian Bank and Interlease

Published 15 June 2017

KBC has closed the acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank and Interlease from the National Bank of Greece for a total consideration of €610m.

The acquisition – which was announced on 30 December 2016 - was approved by the relevant regulatory authorities and received anti-trust approval. KBC will use available funds to pay the acquisition price in cash.

The transaction will only have a limited impact of 0.54% on KBC’s solid capital position, keeping its CET1 ratio well above the regulatory minimum capital requirements. KBC’s CET1 stood at 15.7% (fully loaded, Danish compromise) at the end of 1Q17. Together, UBB-CIBANK and DZI will become the reference in bank-insurance in Bulgaria, one of KBC’s core markets, boasting strong macroeconomic fundamentals while still offering potential for further penetration of financial services.

Following this acquisition, KBC will also become active in leasing, asset management and factoring in Bulgaria, offering its clients now a full range of financial services.

The operational integration of the business entities will be gradually introduced in the coming months. During its first corporate governance meetings under KBC realm today, UBB will decide about the composition of its supervisory and management board, which will be led by Peter Andronov, current country manager Bulgaria and CEO of CIBANK. Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO had this to say: ‘I am very pleased with our acquisition. Today, 10 years after our group set its first steps in Bulgaria, we take a quantum leap in the country.

In this core market we now also have become a strong market player, who will be able to put its mark on all the different businesses it is active in: banking, insurance, asset management, leasing et cetera. Our commitment to Bulgaria is a long-term proposition which is reflected in our strategy to be among the market leaders – like in all other core markets of KBC.

Expanding our activities in the country, building on the competence and dynamism of UBB and CIBANK, and leveraging our joint product and service offering will help us reaching this goal and ensure future success.” Luc Popelier, CEO of KBC Group’s International Markets Business Unit added: “This transaction substantially strengthens KBC’s position in Bulgaria and is a fine example of KBC’s strategic approach on its core markets. We are convinced that both the clients of UBB and CIBANK and the Bulgarian economy as a whole will benefit from the joint forces of these two strong brands.”

Peter Andronov, CEO of CIBANK, and Country Manager Bulgaria welcomes yesterday’s transaction: "The joint forces of CIBANK, UBB, DZI and the other Bulgarian entities supported by KBC Group, ensure our Bulgarian clients of high quality banking, insurance and other financial services up to the standards and level they deserve.

"This new combined financial group will substantially solidify and strengthen our current position on the Bulgarian market and play a major role in supporting our local economy. I look forward to collaborating with my new management and staff members and am convinced that, together, we will become the reference for all our clients."

Source: Company Press Release