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BNP Paribas, Santander, PKO to Bid for Bank Zachodni

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- BNP Paribas SA, PKO Bank Polski SA and Banco Santander SA made bids for Allied Irish Bank Plc’s Polish unit, according to a person familiar with the process.

Allied Irish, based in Dublin, probably will identify a preferred bidder for its 70 percent stake in Bank Zachodni WBK SA after offers from the bidders are reviewed, said the person, who declined to be identified because the deal is pending.

Allied Irish is selling the stake in Zachodni as it seeks to raise 7.4 billion euros ($9.4 billion) to reach new capital standards. The bank’s managing director Colm Doherty said on Aug. 4 that he expects to have agreements with buyers for the bank’s Polish and U.K. units by the end of September.

The sale of Allied Irish’s 22.5 percent stake in U.S. lender M&T Bank Corp. probably will be completed next month, Doherty said. The company could generate as much as 4.5 billion euros from the sale of the three assets, said Ciaran Callaghan, an analyst with Dublin-based NCB Stockbrokers. He has a hold rating on the stock.

Elzbieta Anders, a spokeswoman for Warsaw-based PKO Bank Polski, Poland’s largest lender, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Madrid-based Santander, who asked not to be named in line with company policy, and Allied Irish Banks spokeswoman Catherine Burke declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Paris-based BNP declined to comment.

AIB Corporate Finance and Morgan Stanley & Co. are advising Allied Irish on the sale. Michael Wang, a London-based spokesman for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on the bidding process.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Brennan at jbrennan29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dara Doyle at ddoyle1@bloomberg.net

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