Bulgaria's Troubled Corpbank No Longer A Bidder for Hypo Alpe Adria
Advent International and a Bulgarian-Russian consortium headed by businessman Denis Barekov are reportedly the key bidders for nationalized Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria.
The bank, which Austria nationalized in 2009 to prevent its collapse, is to sell its Balkan network by mid-2015 at the behest of the EU Commission.
Hypo Alpe Adria has a network of offices on the Balkans which includes six banks and three leasing operators in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Montenegro.
According to mediapool.bg, based on reports of international media outlets, there are seven bidders for the entire bank or for parts of its network on the Balkans.
The two main bidders are said to be Advent International in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a group of Bulgarian investors headed by Denis Barekov, owner of an airline and a real estate business backed by Russian bank VTB.
Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), which was placed under conservatorship by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) on June 20, dropped out of the Bulgarian-Russian consortium.
KTB was placed under conservatorship by BNB after customers of the bank withdrew more than 1/5 of its total deposits in a week.
The period of special supervision for KTB has been extended by September 21.
An audit at the bank showed that its activities were "incompatible with the law and good banking practices."
KTB's subsidiary Credit Agricole Bulgaria has also been placed under conservatorship.
A spokesperson for Hypo Alpe Adria refused to comment on the participants in the tender but said that the talks with potential investors had reached an advanced stage.
A spokesperson for the Austrian Finance Ministry noted that intensive talks were underway for the Southeast Europe network of Hypo Alpe Adria.
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