Takarékbank, savings coops to make buyout offer for FHB

Ratings

Takarékbank and 21 other members of savings cooperative integrator SZHISZ have agreed to make a buyout offer for the outstanding shares of FHB Mortgage Bank, FHB said in a disclosure published on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) late Monday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

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.

FHB shares traded at HUF 566, up 6.19%, a little after 9.30 in the morning on Tuesday. 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 autumn, before resigning.

Moodyʼs said a “considerable reduction” in FHBʼs solvency risk, together with “evidence of strong support” from SZHISZ, could lift the bankʼs rating. Moodyʼs noted that SZHISZ members held 68.2% of FHB at the end of last year.

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