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Piraeus' sale of Bulgarian unit to Eurobank in line with EU state aid rules - EC

Author Mario Tanev
Piraeus' sale of Bulgarian unit to Eurobank in line with EU state aid rules - EC Author: Lukas Plewnia. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 17 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said that, following a complaint, it has confirmed the compliance with EU state aid rules of the sale of Piraeus Bank's Bulgarian subsidiary to Eurobank .

"The Commission received a complaint in January 2019 from one of the other unsuccessful bidders, alleging that (i) the sale of Piraeus Bank's Bulgarian subsidiary to Eurobank was in breach of the State aid commitments given by Piraeus and Eurobank in the context of the 2015 Commission State aid decisions, and (ii) the sale of the Bulgarian subsidiary to Eurobank, based on an alleged influence of the Greek State in the sales process, constituted illegal State aid," the EU's executive said in a statement on Wednesday.

In 2015,  the Commission approved state aid granted by Greece for the restructuring of Eurobank and Piraeus Bank, with Eurobank committing to make no acquisitions until the end of 2018, while Piraeus Bank pledging to sell its foreign subsidiaries before the end of 2018.

Piraeus Bank agreed to sell its Bulgarian subsidiary to Eurobank in November 2018, but the sale was finalised in June 2019, meaning the transaction is not in breach of the commitments taken in 2015, despite Piraeus slightly exceeding the deadline for selling the assets.

In November 2019, Eurobank Bulgaria, which operates under the Postbank brand, absorbed Piraeus Bank Bulgaria, becoming the country's fourth largest lender by assets.

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