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J.C. Flowers & Co and EBRD acquire Piraeus Bank Romania

By Olga Rosca

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J.C. Flowers & Co and EBRD acquire Piraeus Bank Romania

  • Change of ownership to boost Romanian lender as parent bank reduces foreign exposure
  • Investment to strengthen fragmented banking sector in the country
  • EBRD is purchasing 19 per cent stake, private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co is acquiring 76.1 per cent of shares, lender’s management will own 4.9 per cent

Private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co and the EBRD have completed the acquisition of the Romanian subsidiary of the Greek Piraeus Bank, in a move to strengthen Romania’s banking sector.
The EBRD is purchasing a 19 per cent stake, while J.C. Flowers & Co is buying 76.1 per cent of shares in the company’s first investment in Romania. The remaining 4.9 per cent of shares will be acquired by the lender’s management.

The parent, Piraeus Bank Greece, one of the four systemic banks in Greece, is divesting its foreign investments and selling non-core assets as part of a comprehensive transformation of the Greek financial sector, as agreed with the European Commission.

In Romania, Piraeus Bank’s subsidiary is among the largest retail banks, providing financial services to more than 300,000 customers through a distribution network of almost 100 branches and agencies and with more than 1,200 employees.

 The new shareholders will provide financial resources and restructuring expertise needed to expand the bank’s operations and market share. The change of ownership will also help strengthen the fragmented Romanian financial sector.

The EBRD is a multilateral bank that promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiative in 38 economies across three continents. It is a leading institutional investor in Romania. To date, the EBRD has invested close to €8 billion in the country in more than 400 projects. Last year alone, it invested €550 million in Romania. Of this financing, 93 per cent was provided to the private sector.

J.C. Flowers is a leading private investment firm dedicated to investing globally in the financial services industry. Founded in 1998, the firm has invested more than US$ 15 billion of capital in 53 portfolio companies in 18 countries, across a range of industry subsectors that include banking, insurance and reinsurance, securities firms, specialty finance, and services and asset management. With more than US$ 6 billion of assets under management, J.C. Flowers has offices in New York and London.

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