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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), June 24 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Monday it has increased its stake in Slovenia’s largest lender, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) to 7.125%, supporting the conclusion of the re-privatisation of the bank.
“The bank’s additional investment took place when the Slovenian sovereign holding (SDH) sold a 10% stake in NLB on the London Stock Exchange on 20 June 2019 and the EBRD, alongside other institutional investors, acquired the offered shares,” EBRDsaid in a press release
The sale decreased the government's stake in NLB to 25% plus one share, as agreed with the European Commission, the EBRD noted. The first milestone in the re-privatisation of the bank was reached in November 2018 when the government sold 65% of its shares in a public offering, which the EBRD joined as the second largest institutional investor.
SDH said last week it has successfully completed the accelerated bookbuild process of an aggregate of shares and global depositary receipts (GDR) representing 1,999,999 NLB shares, at a price of 54.75 euro per share and 10.95 euro per GDR. SDH raised 109.5 million euro ($122.7 million) in gross proceeds from the sale.
The government of Slovenia committed to return NLB to majority private ownership under the European Union state aid procedure after NLB had received more than 2.3 billion euro ($2.6 million) in government support since 2013.
In 2013, Slovenia's government stepped in to recapitalise NLB and two other lenders - NKBM and Abanka, narrowly avoiding an international bailout. The same year, Slovenia committed to the European Commission to sell part of NLB within four years.
NLB holds around 23% of total banking assets in Slovenia and has a strong presence in five countries of Southeast Europe.
($ = 0.87942 euro)