KBC, Santander Raise $1.5 Billion From Bank Zachodni Sale

KBC Groep NV (KBC) of Belgium and Banco Santander SA (SAN) of Spain raised 4.89 billion zloty ($1.5 billion) from the sale of a stake in Bank Zachodni WBK SA (BZW), Poland’s third-largest lender.

The banks sold 19.9 million shares at 245 zloty each to financial investors in a transaction that ended yesterday, Zachodni said in a regulatory filing today. The offering took the value of this year’s share offerings in Poland to 14.4 billion zloty, a record start of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Santander sold 5.2 percent of Zachodni, cutting its stake to 70 percent, while KBC its entire 16.2 percent holding in the Polish bank.

Santander, which completed Zachodni’s merger with KBC’s Kredyt Bank SA in January, was under pressure from Polish regulators to boost the proportion of Zachodni shares which are available to other investors. The sale increased the Polish bank’s free float to 30 percent.

The offering came two months after sales of stakes in PKO Bank Polski SA and Bank Pekao SA (PEO), Poland’s largest lenders. The government and state-owned Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego sold a 5.24 billion-zloty stake in PKO Bank, while Italy’s UniCredit SpA (UCG) sold a 3.73 billion-zloty holding in Pekao in January.

Zachodni shares fell 0.2 percent to 255 zloty yesterday, trimming this year’s gain to 5.4 percent.

Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, KBC Securities NV, Santander Investment, Dom Maklerski Bank Zachodni WBK SA, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG managed Zachodni’s sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marta Waldoch in Warsaw at mwaldoch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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