Otkritie Said Planning Nomos Buyout Offer in Next Two Weeks

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Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Otkritie Financial Corp. plans to buy minority stakes in Nomos Bank for $14 per global depositary receipt and will make an announcement within the next two weeks, said three people with knowledge of the plans.

Management is holding final meetings with minority shareholders in Nomos and plans to complete the deal by the end of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified before a decision is announced.

President Vladimir Putin last month urged consolidation of Russia’s 963 banks to help safeguard the “lifeblood” of the economy. Otkritie, which is 20 percent owned by state-run VTB Group, plans to increase its stake in closely held Nomos to 100 percent within two years from 19.9 percent, the Moscow-based lenders said in an August 31 statement.

“We plan to announce the Nomos buyout, but the timing may change depending on the regulatory requirements,” Dmitry Romaev, Otkritie’s financial director, said in an interview today in Moscow. “The price of the minority shareholders’ buyout offer will be no less than $14 a GDR.”

After buying all of Nomos, Otkritie Financial’s top management will get 25 percent of the investment group, while affiliates of Nesis’s ICT Group, state-run VTB Group and businessmen Boris Mints and Alexander Mamut will each get stakes of as much as 10 percent, according to the statement.

Nomos shares jumped as much as 3.8 percent in Moscow before trading up 2.5 percent at 820 rubles by 5:26 p.m. Nomos’s dollar bonds due 2019 rallied, lowering the yield by one basis point to 9.708 percent, a record low.

Absolut Bank

The synchronization of operations and products as well as the process of acquiring a single banking license will “likely” start next year, Ruben Aganbegyan, Otkritie’s incoming chief executive officer said today.

“This deal will be life-changing for Otkritie,” Aganbegyan said. “Because of its size, it will allow it to occupy a completely different spot in the sector.”

The deal will create another major private lender, Aganbegyan said. “Alfa Bank won’t be the only one.”

Aganbegyan, the former president of the Moscow Exchange, will officially become Otkritie’s CEO starting Oct. 22, Aganbegyan said today. Vadim Belyaev, Otkritie’s current chief, will head Nomos Bank following “corporate procedures,” Aganbegyan said.

Otkritie is not currently in talks to buy Absolut Bank ZAO, Alexey Karakhan, Otkritie’s spokesman said today. Belgium’s KBC Groep NV may decide to sell Russia’s Absolut Bank, Vedomosti reported in April, citing Otkritie, Nomos and Commercial Bank Stroycredit as potential bidders. Otkritie didn’t consider Nomos’s bid for Absolut during the buyout plans, Karakhan said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net