Raiffeisen International Wraps up Acquisition of Czech eBanka

25. Oktober 2006, 00:00

Austrias Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (RI), in charge of RZB Group operations in Central and Eastern...

Austrias Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (RI), in charge of RZB Group operations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), announced Tuesday it finalised the acquisition of a 100-per-cent stake in eBanka with headquarters in Prague, the Czech Republic.

The transaction was completed on receipt of approvals from the Czech National Bank and the Czech and Austrian banking market watchdogs.

Under the deal, RI will pay EUR 130 million for the bank with a customer base of 300,000. The new asset will be integrated into RI structure in 2008.

eBanka was founded in 1998 and ever since it has been targeting primarily the retail segment of the market. To date, it was fully-owned by Czech insurer Ceska pojistovna, which in turn is part of the Czech private equity group PPF.

eBanka had EUR 630 million in assets and 925 officials on the payroll as of June this year.

Since 1993, RI has been present in the Czech Republic via universal bank Raiffeisenbank, a.s., whose assets totaled EUR 2.79 billion and workforce of 1,173 employees.

The combined market share of the two entities is to reach 3.3 per cent, which gives them a combined sixth place on the local market.

"With eBanka, our retail banking operations will gain significant momentum in the Czech Republic. It is our aim to extend our customer base to 400,000 by the end of 2009 and reach 10 per cent market share in selected product segments," said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International, at a press conference in Prague. "This deal is also a sign that the Central European region is of great importance to us and we are willing to invest significantly also in this region of Emerging Europe,” he added.

By 2008, when the two banks are set to merge, RI will focus on improving the product offer by offering customers a mix of both banks offer. Furthermore, it is planned to quickly integrate the risk management functions and treasury management of both banks applying Raiffeisen group standards.

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