Following the announcement on 15 December 2006, KBC Lease today closed the deal to acquire 99.34% of Romstal Leasing, the largest independent leasing company in Romania.
KBC Lease also acquired full ownership of INK Insurance Broker, the seventh largest insurance broker in Romania. As planned, it paid €70 million in the deal. With this move, KBC has taken another important step towards achieving its strategy of expansion in Central and Eastern Europe, its other home market. Romstal Leasing is the largest independent leasing company in Romania. At the end of 2006, it held a 4.20% share of the Romanian leasing market and was ranked thirteenth. The bulk of its financing activity (43.30%) relates to car leasing, but it also leases delivery vans, lorries, machinery and equipment and real estate. Romstal Leasing boasts a high level of profitability, with a ROE of 29.50% in 2006 and net profit growth of 22.30% in the period 2005-2006. During this period, its leasing portfolio also expanded by 82.90%. The company has experienced enormous growth in the last few years and has opened new branches throughout Romania.
It now has a network of 20 branches in almost all of the country’s major cities and employs 91 people. To take advantage of the rapidly growing market, the company plans to expand its network to 35 branches by 2008. On 21 March 2007, the company was licensed as a non-financial institution by the National Bank of Romania. INK Insurance Broker is the seventh largest insurance broker in Romania (up from tenth in 2004). Established in 2003, INK Insurance is a fast-growing sister company of Romstal Leasing, providing products and services to Romstal Leasing and other companies. It has a current workforce of 25 FTEs and enjoys a high level of profitability, with premium income going up by 56.30% and earnings increasing by 51.90% in the period 2005-2006.
Over the past decade, KBC has built up a strong presence in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. KBC’s long-term strategic plans include continuing to explore market opportunities in future new EU Member States and beyond. In Central and Eastern Europe, KBC Lease is present via ČSOB Leasing (Czech Republic and Slovakia), K&H Leasing Group (Hungary) and Kredyt Lease (Poland). KBC Lease occupies leading positions on the leasing market in the Czech Republic (No. 1 with a 15% market share), in Slovakia (No. 1 with a 17% market share), in Hungary (No. 6 with an 8% market share) and in Poland (less than a 1% market share). (boursier.com)