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Slovenia’s anti-trust body clears sale of Abanka to NKBM

Slovenia’s anti-trust body clears sale of Abanka to NKBM Kritchanut/

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), December 6 (SeeNews) – Slovenia’s competition protection agency has approved the sale of 100% shareholding interest in the country's third largest bank, Abanka, to Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (NKBM), second biggest bank in Slovenia, NKBM said.

“To conclude the transaction, further regulatory approvals are required. Until the transaction has been finalized, both entities will continue to operate as usual – as independent legal entities,” NKBM said in a press release on Thursday.

The president of the management board of NKBM, John Denhof, said that this is as an “incredible opportunity for NKBM and Abanka to create a stronger combined bank, which is positive for the Slovenia's economy.”

Slovenia’s sovereign holding company, SDH, said in June 2019 that it has signed an agreement with local NKBM for the sale of 100% of Abanka for a total consideration of 511 million euro ($566.8 million), with the completion of the acquisition subject to regulatory and other necessary approvals.

The value of the agreement includes a dividend in the amount of 67 million euro which was paid out to the seller in May, prior to the signing of the agreement, SDH, acting on behalf of the Slovenian government, said at the time.

NKBM is owned by investment funds affiliated with and managed by Apollo Global Management (80%) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (20%).

A merger between Abanka and NKBM would create a bank that will hold around 22.5% market share. Slovenia's largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), holds a market stake of around 23%.

($=0.9014 euro)