UNICREDITO ITALIANO WINS TENDER TO ACQUIRE DEMIRBANK ROMANIA
UniCredito Italiano has been selected by the Turkish Deposit Assurance Fund to acquire control of the Romanian bank Demirbank Romania and of its associated company Demir Romlease. Demirbank Romania, founded in 1997, is the 12th largest Romanian bank in terms of total assets (USD62MN as of December 31, 2000). It is prevalently a corporate bank, specialized in the mid-corporate and SME segments. During 2000 Demirbank Romania launched - one of the first banks in the country to do so - Internet and mobile banking services. The bank operates via a territorial network of 11 branches (located in the country's main towns and cities, including Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj, Ploesti and Constantia). It covers the entire national territory and in particular Western Romania, where most Italian investments in the country are concentrated. The product range offered by Demirbank Romania is completed by Demir Romlease, main Romanian leasing company, founded in 1994 and specialized in leasing for corporate customers. The UniCredit Group will pay USD16.6MN to acquire 62.5% of Demirbank Romania, in which IFC (World Bank) has a 20% stake, whilst the remaining 17.5% is owned by three Romanian investment funds. For acquisition of 36% of Romlease the Group will pay USD1.5MN. The investment in Romania thus totals USD18.1MN. The operation is obviously subject to authorization by the Bank of Italy and the central Romanian bank.Although UniCredit's investment in Demirbank Romania and Demir Romlease forms part of the Group's wider strategy of expansion in the New Europe, it also meets the Group's necessity to respond to the needs of its corporate customers.Italians are the main foreign investors in Romania, and in particular the North East. Italian clientele of CassaMarca, Cariverona, RoloBanca, Caritrieste and Credito Italiano features a heavy concentration of companies highly active in relations with Romania or even already present in the country via direct investments. The Group's investment in Romania is thus particularly important in the short term since it aims to assure further improvement in the service offered by the Group today, with respect to its corporate customers' pressing internationalization requirements.