Poczta Polska, Poland’s state-owned postal services company, rejected PKO Bank Polski SA (PKO)’s offer to buy more shares in its banking unit and said it wants to take full control of Bank Pocztowy.
Poczta, which owns 75 percent of Pocztowy, has “enough money” to buy out PKO’s 25 percent stake as well as increase the unit’s capital, Chief Executive Officer Jerzy Jozkowiak said at a press conference in Warsaw today. Jozkowiak wants the transaction to be completed in “weeks rather than months.”
PKO, Poland’s largest bank, this month proposed to raise its stake in Pocztowy to 50 percent minus one share from the present 25 percent, offering to buy 290 million zloty ($93 million) of new shares. PKO is seeking takeover targets to speed up expansion on central Europe’s biggest market as the lender faces increased competition from domestic units of Italy’s UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Spain’s Banco Santander SA.
PKO’s offer is “the worst scenario” for Poczta, its management board member Janusz Wojas said today. Pocztowy is a “key element” for the Polish postal company, which expects the bank’s pretax profit to make up 60 percent of its group profit in 2017, compared with 35 percent now, he said.
Pocztowy’s net income rose to 45.4 million zloty in 2012 from 29.6 million zloty a year earlier.
Elzbieta Anders, a PKO spokeswoman, had no immediate comment when contacted by phone today. The government holds a controlling 31 percent stake in Warsaw-based PKO.
Poczta hired McKinsey & Co. to advise it on PKO’s offer.
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