Slovenia Opts for Biggest Bank's IPO on Deutsche Bank Advice

  • NLB Bank will be listed on Ljubljana exchange and abroad
  • Asset manager sees bigger intake compared to sale to one bank

Slovenian Sovereign Holding decided to sell Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. through an initial public offering after adviser Deutsche Bank AG recommended this option as preferable to selling to a single investor.

An IPO would bring in a “substantially” larger intake for Slovenia than a sale to a strategic buyer, Marko Jazbec, the holding’s chief, told reporters in Ljubljana Thursday. The process will start in the fall and the shares of the nation’s biggest bank will be listed on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange as well as on an international bourse, Jazbec said.

“After the Deutsche Bank study, we decided for an initial public offering,” Jazbec told reporters in the capital Ljubljana. “A sale to a single investor in an unfavorable environment for bank mergers would bring in less cash.”

NLB received the largest share of the government’s 3.2 billion-euro ($3.65 billion) rescue in 2013 as the Adriatic nation was teetering on the brink of an international bailout. The government of Prime Minister Miro Cerar now wants to recoup some of that money by selling state assets.

Slovenia was “leaning” toward the sale of NLB to a single investor, Jazbec said two days ago. The International Monetary Fund in March criticized the proposed sale model of NLB, saying the provision that no other investor can hold a larger stake than the government’s 25 percent will put off potential buyers.

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