Italian Sanpaolo acquires 87.39% of Panonska Banka for €122 mln

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic, Head of Foreign Network at bank group Sanpaolo IMI Giuseppe Cuccurese and Governor of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Radovan Jelasic signed today a sale agreement on acquisition of a 87.39% stake in Panonska Banka for €122 million.

Dinkic told a press conference that Panonska Banka was sold at a price 4.8 times higher than the bank’s assets and announced that the Italian buyer will pay €122 million within next 120 days.

According to Dinkic, Sanpaolo agreed to invest €11 million in Panonska Banka’s new information system, create a larger network of affiliates and staff training.

Four months after the acquisition, the Italian bank plans to make an offer for the remaining 12% of Panonska Banka’s stocks at the price of €178 per share, which would be the same amount as the state received, Dinkic said.

He said that the banking sector in Serbia recorded the largest growth in all areas of the Serbian economy and stressed that the balance assets of banks increased by 50% in the past year, or around €3 billion.

Chairman of Sanpaolo IMI Enrico Salza said that the arrival of this Italian bank on the Serbian market will further develop cooperation between Serbian and Italian businesspeople.

Torino-based Sanpaolo IMI Group is the third largest Italian bank and fourth Italian bank that entered the Serbian banking market. It operates in 34 countries around the world and has a total capital of around €14 billion.