Bulgaria’s Postbank, a subsidiary of Greek Eurobank Ergasias, said on June 14 that it has closed the acquisition of the Bulgarian subsidiary of another Greek lender, Piraeus Bank.
The deal, worth 75 million euro according to the November 2018 announcement, received the necessary regulatory approvals earlier this year.
Until the legal merger is completed, Piraeus Bank Bulgaria would operate as a subsidiary of Postbank, with operational integration expected to be completed by the end of 2019, Postbank said.
Piraeus Bank Bulgaria had assets of 2.9 billion leva (about 1.5 billion euro) at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according by Bulgarian central bank data. Postbank had 8.53 billion leva in assets, or 4.36 billion euro, at the end of March.
After the merger is completed, the new lender would challenge Belgian KBC Group’s subsidiary United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), which had 11.59 billion leva in assets at end-March, for the position of the third-largest bank in the country.
This is the second time Eurobank acquired the Bulgarian subsidiary of a fellow Greek lender, having bought the branches of its domestic rival Alpha Bank in Bulgaria in 2015.
The deal will also leave Eurobank as the last Greek lender with a subsidiary in Bulgaria, a market where they had a strong presence before the euro zone crisis, but one that most Greek banks have exited in recent years, most notably with the sale of UBB by National Bank of Greece to KBC Group in 2017.
(Photo: Lukas Plewnia/flickr.com)