Germany’s Commerzbank buys majority stake in Ukraine’s Bank Forum

Deals

Commerzbank has acquired a majority stake in Ukraine’s 10th-largest private-sector bank, Bank Forum, for $600 million, the German bank announced Tuesday.

Commerzbank said it had bought 60% of Bank Forum, plus one share, and had also secured an option to buy a further 25% after three years. Commerzbank is funding the purchase from its existing resources, and the stake is being sold by investor Leonid Yurushev and his family. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

The purchase was aimed at “considerably strengthening Commerzbank’s position in its target growth regions of Central and Eastern Europe,” Commerzbank said. Commerzbank board member Martin Blessing said: “After an intensive search, we have found an ideal complement for our network of operational outlets in the booming region of Central and Eastern Europe in the form of Bank Forum, the 10th largest bank in Ukraine by total assets.”

Bank Forum, founded in 1994, has 12,000 corporate customers, of which 9,500 are small and medium-sized enterprises. Commerzbank plans to expand its retail customer business. According to Commerzbank, Bank Forum has assets equivalent to €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) and a market share of 2.3%. (m&c.com)

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