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Barclays agrees to buy 100% in Russia’s Expobank

Barclays Bank has signed a deal to buy Russia’s Expobank for $745 million, the British bank said on Monday.

The UK banking group plans to develop both retail and corporate services and has no plans to replace Expobank’s current CEO or top management. Barclays said Expobank, which has 32 branches mainly in western Russia, will be part of its GRCB Emerging Markets business led by Ahmed Khizer Khan. “Andrey V. Vdovin and Kirill V. Yakubovskiy will remain as members of the Board of Directors at Expobank. Sergey M. Radchenkov will remain as Chairman of the Management Board (equivalent to CEO) and will report to Ahmed Khizer Khan.”

The deal will be financed out of the bank’s existing cash resources and will be complete this summer after regulatory approval. “Its existing relationships and infrastructure create the ideal platform for us to become one of the leading retail and commercial banks in Russia,” the company’s Global Retail and Commercial Banking CEO Frits Seegers was cited as saying. Kirill Yakubovskiy, Chairman of the Board at Expobank, was quoted as saying: “Becoming part of the Barclays group is the start of a new era not only for Expobank itself, but also for the Russian banking sector as a whole.”

Expobank, founded in 1994, has around 1,300 employees. As of January 31, 2007, the bank had net assets of $186 million. It is ranked among the top 50 banks for its network size.
Barclays’ Capital arm now provides services for corporations and other investors in Russia and the deal will give the bank the first retail banking presence in the country.

Barclays PLC has about 27 million clients in more than 50 countries. The bank employs over 134,000 personnel. (