Athens-listed Alpha Bank, one of the leading Groups of the financial sector in Greece, has agreed to sell its Albanian subsidiary to Hungary-based OTP Bank. The Hungarian lender will pay 55 million euros ($62.05 million) to buy a 100% stake in the asset, Alpha Bank said on Monday (Dec.6).
With a total asset-based market share of almost 5%, Alpha Bank is the 8th largest bank on the Albanian banking market, and as a universal bank it has been active in the retail and corporate segment as well.
The deal is expected to create a leading banking group in Albania, which will hold nearly 11% market share, the Greek bank added. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2Q 2022 subject to obtaining all the necessary regulatory approvals.
Rothschild & Co and Unicredit Group are acting as financial advisers in relation to the transaction. White & Case LLP is acting as international legal adviser and Kalo & Associates Law Firm as legal adviser on Albanian law issues.
The deal is the most recent in a buying spree by OTP across the Balkans. In May, Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to sell $1 billion Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d.-Slovenia’s second-largest lender- to OTP Bank, paving the way for the Hungarian financial institution to become a leading lender in the Adriatic euro-area nation.
In 2016, OTP acquired Société Générale SA Croatian unit Splitska banka d.d. and cut a deal to buy National Bank of Greece SA’s Romanian unit, Banca Româneasca SA, in 2017. Beyond those markets, OTP operates in Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Montenegro via its subsidiaries.
The Hungarian bank was founded in 1949 as a state savings and commercial bank. OTP stands for Országos Takarék Pénztár (National Savings Bank), which indicates the original purpose of establishment of the bank. It currently has 16.3 million costumers and 1,750 branches.
Alpha Bank, was founded in 1879 by J.F. Costopoulos. Together with its subsidiaries, Alpha Bank provides a broad range of banking and financial products and services, including retail and private banking, SMEs and business banking, corporate and investment banking, asset management, brokerage services, and real estate management.
Alpha Bank constitutes a consistent point of reference in the Greek banking system with one of the highest capital adequacy ratios in Europe, and today it operates in Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Albania, Luxembourg and the UK. It employs more than 10,500 employees internationally.
In October, Alpha Bank entered into a binding agreement to sell 51% of mezzanine and junior bad loan securitisation notes to entities managed and advised by US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.
The securitisation notes relate to a portfolio of non-performing credit with a gross book value of 3.4 billion euros named ‘Cosmos’, in an attempt by the Greek bank to clean up its balance sheet. The sale is expected to be completed in this year’s fourth quarter.
For the first nine months of 2021, Alpha Bank reported a normalised profit after tax of 297 million, after adjusting for non-recurring items, a return of 5.8% on tangible book value.
Alpha Services and Holdings S.A. (parent company of Alpha Bank Group) shares closed up 2.41% on Tuesday (Dec. 7).