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Slovenia completes privatisation of NLB

Slovenia completes privatisation of NLB Author: NLB. License: All rights reserved.

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), June 19 (SeeNews) – Slovenia’s sovereign holding company, SDH, said on Wednesday it has successfully concluded the privatisation of Nova Ljubljanska Banka [LJE:NLB] by completing the placement to institutional investors.

“SDH 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 said in a statement.

SDH raised gross proceeds from the sale in the amount of 109.5 million euro ($122.7 million), according to the statement. After the completion of the placement, the Slovenian state will remain the largest single shareholder of NLB, owning a 25% stake plus one share.

The shares subject to the sale were attributed a dividend in the amount of  7.13 euro per share which means that Slovenia will receive a total of 123.8 million euro from the ownership of NLB shares in 2019.

The settlement of the placement is planned to take place on Friday.

"By way of this transaction, international institutional investors of good quality have entered the ownership structure of NLB, giving the bank a good basis for ensuring its competitiveness and its further development," SDH said. "With the sale, some of the commitments given by the Republic of Slovenia to the European Commission (EC) upon the approval of the state aid given in 2013 have ceased to apply; this will have a positive impact on the further growth and on the development of the NLB Group."

In November 2018, Slovenia sold 59.1% of NLB's issued share capital in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, priced at 51.50 euro per share as part of the privatisation of the bank agreed between the government and the European Commission.

The IPO came in response to the commitment of Slovenia undertaken as part of the restructuring plan of NLB agreed with the European Commission under state aid procedure in 2013. Back then, the Slovenian 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.

($ = 0.89225 euro)