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EBRD buys 19% stake in Piraeus Bank Romania

EBRD buys 19% stake in Piraeus Bank Romania Piraeus Bank Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), August 2 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Thursday it has acquired a 19% stake in Piraeus Bank Romania (PBR) from Greek parent Piraeus Group, alongside private equity fund J.C. Flowers and PBR management.

The EBRD and JCF own shares in a Luxembourg investment vehicle that in turn owns 95.1% of the share capital of PBR, while bank management owns the remaining 4.9%, the EBRD said in a project summary document.

The total cost of the project amounts to 52.0 million euro ($60.4 million), the PSD showed.

EBRD's investment will provide financial resources and restructuring expertise needed to expand Piraeus Bank Romania's operations and market share. The change of ownership will also help strengthen the fragmented Romanian financial sector, the EBRD said.

Piraeus Bank, one of the four systemic banks in Greece, is divesting its foreign investments and selling non-core assets as part of a comprehensive transformation of the Greek financial sector, as agreed with the European Commission.

Based in Bucharest, Piraeus Bank Romania offers a wide range of products and services for the local and international clients, including retail, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate banking. PBR operates through a network of 100 banking units, employing 1,200 specialists and has approximately 300,000 customers.

J.C. Flowers, founded in 1998, has invested more than $15 billion of capital in 52 portfolio companies in 17 countries across a range of industry subsectors including banking, insurance and reinsurance, securities firms, specialty finance, and services and asset management.

To date, the EBRD has invested close to 8 billion euro in the country in more than 400 projects. Last year alone, it invested 550 million euro in Romania. Of this financing, 93% was provided to the private sector.

($=0.8611 euro)