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LHV Group Bids for Lithuania’s Finasta Bank, Regulator Says

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Estonia’s LHV Group AS submitted a bid to buy the Finasta investment banking unit of bankrupt Bankas Snoras AB as part of Baltic expansion plans.

The Bank of Lithuania in the capital Vilnius will decide by Dec. 18 on the Tallinn-based banking group’s request for permission to buy Bankas Finasta AB as well as the related brokerage and asset-management companies, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement today. It remains open to other bidders.

“This assessment of documents doesn’t prevent other possible investors from applying,” the central bank said.

Snoras, once Lithuania’s third-biggest lender by deposits, was declared bankrupt and taken over by the central bank in November 2011 after assets were discovered missing from its balance sheet. Bankruptcy administrator Neil Cooper has said that completing the sale of companies in the Finasta group is among the top priorities this year.

LHV together with the Lithuanian investment company RAZFin bought Snoras’s former leasing unit Snoro Lizingas UAB in August, saying it wanted to expand in the Baltic region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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