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KBC, Santander Said to Price Zachodni Sale at 245 Zloty

KBC Groep NV of Belgium and Banco Santander SA of Spain will sell 21.4 percent of Bank Zachodni WBK SA, Poland’s No. 3 lender, for 4.9 billion zloty ($1.5 billion), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The two banks will sell the combined stake at 245 zloty a share, said people, who asked to not be identified because the process is private. The banks had narrowed the price to between 240 zloty and 255 zloty apiece from a previous range of 240 zloty to 270 zloty, the people said. The banks got bids for all 20 million shares on offer in the sale that closed today.

KBC planned to sell its entire 16.2 percent stake in Zachodni, while Santander was offering as much as 5.2 percent, Zachodni said March 18. Santander, which completed Zachodni’s merger with KBC’s Kredyt Bank SA in January, is under pressure from Polish regulators to boost the proportion of Zachodni shares available to other investors. The sale will increase the Polish bank’s so-called free-float to 30 percent.

Zachodni shares fell 0.2 percent to 255 zloty at the close in Warsaw today. Warsaw’s benchmark WIG20 Index declined 1.1 percent, extending its decline to 7.2 percent in 2013.

The offering comes two months after sales of stakes in PKO Bank Polski SA and Bank Pekao SA, 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 sold a 3.7 billion-zloty holding in Pekao in January.

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.

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