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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), December 6 (SeeNews) – Slovenia's government has completed the sale of its 100% interest in the country's third largest lender, Abanka, to the the second biggest - Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (NKBM), for 444 million euro ($489 million), Nova KBM said.
"Nova KBM intends to fully merge and integrate the two entities into one, creating a strong, nationwide bank. The process is expected to occur gradually in several phases, under the supervision of the regulatory authorities," Nova KBM said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The merged bank will have assets in excess of €8.5 billion and over 1000 banking touchpoints, far more than any other bank in the country, due to the strategic partnership with the Post of Slovenia," the statement reads.
In June 2019, Slovenia’s sovereign holding company, SDH, acting on behalf of the government, signed an agreement with Nova KBM for the sale of 100% of Abanka for a total consideration of 511 million euro, including 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 said at the time.
In July, rating agency Fitch said that the merger will create the second-largest bank in Slovenia with a market share of around 22.5% (based on end-2018 data), only marginally smaller than the domestic operations of Slovenia's largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB).
Nova KBM is owned by investment funds affiliated with and managed by Apollo Global Management (80%) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (20%).
In 2013, the Slovenian government had to step in and recapitalise Abanka with 348 million euro whilst also seizing control of the bank. In October 2015, Abanka and its state-owned peer Banka Celje merged. Banka Celje ceased to exist as an independent legal entity, whilst Abanka as the acquiring company and universal legal successor entered all legal relations concerning its peer.