AIK Banka a.d. Beograd published a notice of takeover intention for Gorenjska banka dd Kranj in newspaper Delo, after it reached an unofficial agreement to acquire 37.6% of the Slovenian lender from conglomerate Sava, news agency STA reported Dec. 16.
A formal bid for the remaining shares of Gorenjska is expected to be published within a month. The purchase of Sava's stake would increase AIK Banka's stake in the bank to almost 60%; the Serbian lender was cleared by the Slovenian central bank in February to increase its holding to over 50% from the current 21%.
Sava is selling its stake in the bank in a consortium with other Gorenjska shareholders, including Slovenia's Bank Assets Management Co., Zavarovalnica Triglav dd and Abanka dd, with a total stake of 55% for sale. The position of the remaining consortium members regarding the deal with AIK Banka is not yet clear, but Sava is pushing ahead, having been told by the Slovenian central bank to divest its stake in in 2015, the report noted.
AIK Banka's offer was better than those put forward by other potential buyers, and the Serbian bank's plans for Gorenjska are consistent with the Slovenian lender's existing strategy, the newswire said, citing AIK Banka representatives.
Offers submitted by Apollo Global Management LLC and a fund owned by billionaire George Soros were also shortlisted by the sellers, in addition to AIK Banka's bid, the news report noted. Media outlets reported in September that the sellers had rejected initial bids by Apollo and AIK Banka, asking them to improve their offers.