Slovenian Sovereign Holding d.d. (SSH), as representative of the Republic of Slovenia, together with funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, Apollo), a leading global alternative investment manager, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), announced today the signing of the sale and purchase agreement pursuant to which certain Apollo affiliated funds and EBRD will acquire 100% of the shares held by the Republic of Slovenia in Nova KBM d.d. (NKBM).
Nova KBM is Slovenia's oldest and second largest bank renowned for its tradition of providing excellent banking services to both retail and corporate customers. Established in 1862, Nova KBM is a fully state owned entity with more than 1,700 employees.
The investment led by Apollo affiliated funds, in partnership with EBRD, was selected as the preferred buyer for NKBM following a competitive bidding process. The transaction, which values 100% of NKBM at €250 million, represents an important step in SSH's strategic pursuit of successfully completing the privatization process. Certain Apollo affiliated funds will acquire 80% of NKBM and EBRD the remaining 20%.
Apollo is partnering with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the acquisition of NKBM, given EBRD's local expertise in the region, their long-standing reputation for supporting financial stability and the unique set of skills they bring to the transaction.
Apollo and EBRD plan to build a strong, market-leading bank, and preserve the client focus as NKBM’s first and foremost priority. Both Apollo and EBRD are fully committed to the further growth and development of NKBM and improving its operational efficiency.
Matej Pirc, President of the Management Board of SSH, said:
"We believe that the sale of NKBM will have a positive impact on the bank, its clients, and the region in particular. The sale further demonstrates SSH's ability to manage the privatization process professionally and according to international standards, in a manner aiming at attracting responsible and experienced investors to support the development of privatized enterprises into more successful and competitive companies.”
Matej Runjak, project leader and Member of the Management Board at SSH, said:
“We believe that in Apollo and EBRD, we have found investors who are able to take NKBM to its next level of development. Apollo's reputation as a world-leading global alternative investment manager with a track record of transforming businesses into best-in-class operators, paired with EBRD's commitment to progress and economic stability, are the skills necessary to transform the Slovenian Banking System. We are optimistic about the future of NKBM under their ownership."
Gernot Lohr, Senior Partner at Apollo, said:
"We believe NKBM is a franchise asset, with a challenging recent history, that under the guidance of an experienced and committed owner such as Apollo can return to its past glory, delivering stability for all stakeholders, namely NKBM’s clients and customers, its employees, the local community and the State. We are excited to be in a position to utilize our knowledge and expertise in restructuring financial services companies as we work with management to improve and grow NKBM. We believe that NKBM has tremendous growth potential and we remain committed to cooperating with all stakeholders to deliver excellence in services to current and future clients.”
Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said:
“We are very pleased to become a shareholder in Slovenia’s second largest bank. The privatization of NKBM demonstrates the authorities’ commitment to the reform agenda and the will to transform the bank. As a shareholder, the EBRD will be working very closely and actively with the new majority owner Apollo in support of the restructuring of the bank and the introduction of the highest standards in corporate governance. The strengthening of the Slovenian banking sector is essential for the country’s continuing sustainable growth and the EBRD stands ready to make its contribution.”