Sberbank Sells Its Subsidiaries in Croatia, CEE Region

By 4 November 2021
Sberbank Sells Its Subsidiaries in Croatia, CEE Region
Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 4 Nov 2021 - Sberbank Europe said on Wednesday that it was selling its subsidiaries in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia to the Belgrade-based AIK Bank, Slovenia's Gorenjska Banka, and Agri Europe Cyprus Limited.

Sberbank Europe AG signed an agreement with AIK Banka a.d. Beograd, Gorenjska Banka d.d., Kranj and Agri Europe Cyprus Limited for the sale of its subsidiary banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sberbank BH d.d. Sarajevo and Sberbank a.d. Banja Luka), Croatia (Sberbank d.d.), Hungary (Sberbank Magyarország Zrt.), Serbia (Sberbank Srbija a.d. Beograd) and Slovenia (Sberbank banka d.d.), with total assets of EUR 7.329 billion, 162 branches and around 600,000 clients, Sberbank Europe said in a press release.

"Sberbank Europe AG has decided to reduce its geographic presence in CEE in order to focus on key markets and explore new business models. Sberbank CZ, a.s. in the Czech Republic remains under the ownership of Sberbank Europe AG and will continue with its present business model.

"After careful analyses of several options, the transaction with AIK Banka, Gorenjska Banka, and Agri Europe Cyprus Limited resulted to be the most attractive one from Sberbank Europe AG perspective.

"The purchasers have a large regional presence as well as a clear vision of the future development, supporting further growth of the banks and ensuring that the clients will continue to receive services of the same high quality.

"The closing of the transaction is subject to approvals by national and international regulators as well as by national competition authorities and is expected to take place in 2022," the bank said.

This past summer Sberbank said that in the next couple of years it planned to withdraw from the European market as well as sell its majority interest in Fortenova, which includes the Slovenian retailer Mercator.

The Russian bank was the biggest creditor of the now-defunct Croatian agricultural and food conglomerate Agrokor, and after Agrokor's creditors reached a settlement in emergency administration proceedings, Sberbank took over control of close to 40% of assets of Fortenova Group TopCo, a subsidiary of Fortenova Group which took over Agrokor's business.

Sberbank has been present in Croatia since 2012 after Sberbank Europe bought Volksbank International, part of which was Volksbank Hrvatska. The bank has 31 offices and ranks eighth in terms of total assets on the Croatian banking market.

Sberbank Europe AG, based in Vienna, is a banking group owned entirely by Sberbank of Russia. At the end of 2020 its assets totaled €13 billion, it had 800,000 clients, operated 187 offices, and had more than 3,900 employees across Europe.

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