DEM21MN OFFERED FOR EUROBANK
The Slovak fund Istrocapital, owner of 93.28% of the Bulgarian EUROBANK, received an offer to sell its shares for about BGL21MN. The offer was made by a consortium of International Financial Corporation (part of the WB), EBRD, one of the biggest German banks Commerzbank, the German state financial institution Deutsche Investitions und Endwiklung Gesellschaft and the German investment fund IMI. Each participant in the consortium is interested in acquiring about 20% of EUROBANK's capital.
Now the bank's managers are studying the details of the offer, and negotiations will start by mid February and will probably take about a month. At the forthcoming negotiations will be specified the actual stake of EUROBANK shares which the consortium will acquire. The Slovak fund is interested in keeping a minority stake, but this will lead to reduction both of the buyers' stakes and to the price they will pay to Istrocapital. The Slovak company informed about an intention of buying the major shares of Central Cooperative Bank, if they get a good premium on the investment they made in EUROBANK in 1997 and 1998.
EUROBANK officials, who were informed by the Banker weekly about the price offered by the consortium (BGL21MN) made a comment that the Slovak fund will get 40% premium on its shares of the bank's own worth - BGL15MN. According to some financial experts, however, the premium on Istrocapital's investment will be much smaller - about 19%. They reminded that in 1997 the Slovak company paid a little bit more than USD6MN for the bankrupt Mollov Bank (it was then renamed to EUROBANK). At the moment this investment equals BGL12.66MN. Besides, in 1998 and 1999 they increased the bank's capital by BGL5MN. So that the leva equivalent of their investment at the moment is BGL17.66MN. For the sale of the rehabilitated EUROBANK Istrocapital is expected to get BGL21MN. And this means about 19% more than the amount they have invested.