OTP withdrew the appeal filed against Romania’s central bank, terminates acquisition of Banca Romaneasca

Sorin Melenciuc 20/04/2018 | 10:09

The Hungarian financial group OTP announced on Thursday that it withdrew the appeal filed against Romania’s central bank’s decision to reject Banca Romaneasca’s takeover from Greek group NBG. OTP terminates the acquisition of Banca Romaneasca “due to the non-fulfilment of the
conditions precedents by the longstop date”.

“OTP Bank Plc. hereby informs the capital markets (…) that – due to the non-fulfilment of the conditions precedents by the longstop date – the share purchase agreement entered into on 26 July 2017 has been terminated. With reference to this development, on 18 April 2018, OBR withdrew the appeal filed against the National Bank of Romania’s first instance decision, in which NBR did not grant its approval with respect to the Transaction,” the bank said, in a press release sent to Budapest Stock Exchange.

Banking industry sources told Business Review on March 14 that the National Bank of Romania (BNR), Romania’s central bank, rejected the takeover of Banca Romaneasca by Hungarian group OTP.

The central bank confirmed the information in a press release. “The National Bank of Romania announces that (…) it opposes the intention of OTP Bank Romania SA to purchase a direct qualifying holding (of 99.28%) and the intention of OTP Bank Nyrt. respectively to purchase an indirect qualifying holding (of 99.28%) in the share capital and voting rights of Banca Românească SA Member of National Bank of Greece Group,” BNR said.

The central bank didn’t mention the reasons for the decision, claiming that “the information obtained while exercising the central bank tasks in the field of authorization, regulation and prudential supervision of credit institutions shall be considered as professional secrecy”.

On March 19, OTP announced that its management ‘is analyzing the legal aspects’ of the Romanian central bank’s decision to reject the takeover of Banca Romaneasca.

The Hungarian bank appealed against the objection, but the appeal against the first instance decision is analysed by central bank’s second instance.

OTP signed the agreement with National Bank of Greece (NBG), the owner of Banca Romaneasca, for the takeover on July 26, 2017.

The transaction was approved in December 2017 by Romanian anti-trust body, but the approval of the central bank is mandatory for concluding the transaction.

In 2016, OTP acquired Millennium Bank from Banco Comercial Portugues, but remains a medium-sized player in the Romanian banking market.

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