Erste aquires Romania’s Banca Comerciala

In Hungary

Romania's parliament approved Erste Bank AG's purchase of Banca Comerciala Romana SA, the country's largest lender, paving the way to complete the biggest takeover of a Romanian company. Erste's acquisition of the Romanian lender known as BCR was approved by a vote of 135 lawmakers in favor and 118 votes against, with two abstentions, said Horia Pop, a spokesman for the Chamber of Deputies. Erste is Austria's second-biggest lender. „The vote is final,” Pop said today in a phone interview. The vote endorsed a July 26 government decision to limit damages deriving from would-be claims on BCR linked to the 1999-takeover of Romania's bankrupt bank Bancorex SA. The decision limits damage payments by Romania to no more than half of the €3.75 billion Erste agreed to pay for BCR in December. Romania also agreed to pay back losses of € 150 million to as much as € 300 million to Erste, if such losses occurred since Erste and the government signed the transaction in December. Erste agreed to buy 61.9% in Romania's BCR, beating a rival bid from Banco Comercial Portugues SA. That stake includes the 25% plus one share held jointly in BCR by the International Finance Corp. and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (Bloomberg)

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