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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 6, 2013
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BNP Paribas to buy Rabobank's Polish unit BGZ
December 6, 2013   
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BNP Paribas will purchase 98.5% stake in Bank BGZ, Polish unit of Rabobank, for PLN 4.2 billion or some EUR 1 billion, as the French financial group seeks to expand in Poland.

“The group has opened the door to development in Poland, it will double its market share and move up from below the top ten Polish banks to secure a position among banks of the size of Millennium,” Opti Capital Partner Tomasz Bursa said commenting the news.

The French bank wants to conclude the acquisition of BGZ in the first half of 2014, and plans to build a universal bank, benefitting from substantial cost and revenue synergies, BNP Paribas Head of International Retail Banking Stefaan Decraene said..

BNP Paribas intends to conduct a "full integration" of both banks, which will make them "very complementary" but the details of the process will be presented in the mid-term, after regulatory approvals are secured, the official said.

However, Poland's financial market regulator KNF, which has previously signaled it is skeptical about further consolidation in the sector, said on Thursday it would check why Rabobank decided to exit BGZ bank.

"We will verify the reasons why Dutch Rabobank decided to change its strategy for the presence on the Polish market," KNF spokesperson Lukasz Dajnowicz said.

In April 2012 Rabobank held a tender offer and increased its stake in BGZ to 98%. At that time it declared it would keep BGZ on the WSE and increase its free-float to 25% no later than by mid-2016 either via sale of shares or a new issue.
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