Sberbank Denies Bid for Poland's Zachodni as Nordea, Pekao, PKO Keep Mum
OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, said it didn’t bid for a controlling stake in Poland’s Bank Zachodni WBK SA, denying a media report, while other potential buyers refused to say whether they submitted offers.
Sberbank didn’t bid for the stake being sold by Allied Irish Banks Plc, for which offers were due June 28, a Sberbank spokesperson said by phone today, declining to be identified in line with bank policy. PKO Bank Polski SA and Bank Pekao SA of Poland and Stockholm-based Nordea Bank AB declined to comment on a Dow Jones report yesterday that named them as bidders.
AIB is selling the 70 percent stake, valued at 9.72 billion zloty ($2.9 billion) at today’s market price, to raise capital in line with demands from Irish regulators. The sale could give a foreign bank a foothold in the Polish market, the only European Union economy to avoid recession last year.
Polish state-controlled PKO, the country’s largest bank, postponed a dividend vote from June 26 after Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said it would bid for Zachodni and might need to use last year’s profit to pay for the stake. Pekao, Poland’s second-largest lender, was analyzing a bid, Chief Executive Officer Alicja Kornasiewicz said June 14.
While Nordea’s “main track” in eastern Europe is to grow its existing business, it has a duty to shareholders to look at any bank that is coming up for sale and would never rule out a potential acquisition, Thomas Neckmar, head of the bank’s Polish, Baltic and Russian business, said in April.
Ragnar Roos, a spokesman for Nordea, declined to comment today.