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Takarékbank, savings coops make offer for FHB

Ratings

Takarékbank, acting in consortium with a number of savings cooperatives, will offer HUF 533 per share - the statutory minimum - in a buyout offer for FHB Mortgage Bank, FHB said in a disclosure posted on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange late Monday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

FHB shares closed at HUF 543 yesterday. The shareʼs 180-day turnover-weighted average price stands at HUF 533.

FHB noted that the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has not yet approved the offer. It added that clearance from the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) is not necessary.

Takarékbank announced a week earlier that it would make the buyout offer together with the savings coops.

At a general meeting in April, Takarékbank shareholders agreed to make the acquisition of 100% of FHB a strategic goal of the savings cooperative integration and mandated the board to move forward with a buyout. The shareholders envisioned a delisting of FHBʼs shares from the Budapest Stock Exchange conditional on the outcome of the buyout.

Earlier in May, ratings agency Moodyʼs upgraded the long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of FHB from B3 to B2, while placing the ratings on review for further upgrade.

“The upgrade of FHBʼs ratings primarily reflects the closer integration of the bank into Hungaryʼs savings cooperatives sector, which has reduced previous corporate governance risks under its former ownership and has also led the rating agency to increase its assumptions for sector support to high from moderate previously,” Moodyʼs said at the time.

Former FHB Chairman Zoltán Spéder parted with his stake in the lender last fall, before resigning.

Moodyʼs said a “considerable reduction” in FHBʼs solvency risk, together with "evidence of strong support" from savings cooperative integrator SZHISZ, could lift the bankʼs rating.

Moodyʼs noted that SZHISZ members held 68.2% of FHB at the end of last year, including a 19.6% stake held by Takarékbank itself.

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