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Groupama boosts stake in OTP Bank to 7.99%

French insurer Groupama and units raised their stake in Hungary’s OTP Bank to 7.99% with the acquisition of a 5% share package at the close of its purchase of the bank's insurance arm OTP Garancia, OTP Bank announced.

OTP Bank did not issue new shares for any of those acquired by Groupama, the bank noted.

Boosting Groupama's stake in OTP Bank was the last element of a strategic partnership announced by the two companies announced in February 2008. The others were the close of the sales of OTP Bank's insurance units in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia to Groupama; the start of cross-sales of OTP Bank and Groupama products in all nine countries in which OTP Bank has a market presence; and the election of Groupama CEO Jean-Francois Lemoux to OTP Bank's supervisory board in the spring.

When the partnership was announced in February, OTP Bank said Groupama would acquire up to 8% of OTP Bank shares: 3% on the market and 5% from a derivative transaction organized by OTP Bank with Deutsche Bank. OTP Bank confirmed the derivative transaction on Wednesday, noting that Groupama acquired the 5% packet, affected by the derivative transaction, at the closing of the deal. OTP added that Groupama units acquired its shares in the past months.

When asked in February, OTP Bank CEO Sándor Csányi declined to reveal the purchase price of the 5% stake, but said the bank “would not make a loss” on the transaction. (MTI – Econews)