Poland's Alior Bank SA and Portugal's Millennium BCP submitted offers to acquire Société Générale SA's Polish subsidiary, Euro Bank SA, Reuters reported, citing two banking sources.
French lender Crédit Agricole SA is also vying to acquire Euro Bank, while Banco Santander SA unit Bank Zachodni WBK SA has dropped out of the race, a source familiar with the transaction told the newswire.
Alior, in which Polish state-controlled insurer PZU SA has a 32% stake, said in an emailed statement to Reuters that it wants to be part of the ongoing consolidation process in the Polish banking sector. It refused to comment on the potential transaction but described Euro Bank as an "interesting" acquisition target. In a separate statement, Alior said it is focusing on organic growth and the implementation of its "Digital Rebel" strategy, the newswire noted.
The potential acquisition of Euro Bank by Alior would fit into the Polish state's strategy to repurchase local assets from foreign investors, with the right-wing government arguing that Poland is too dependent on foreign investors, many of whom bought their Polish assets in the 1990s and 2000s, Reuters noted.
Alior recently engaged in merger talks with fellow Polish lender Bank Pekao SA, which is also part of PZU Group, but the discussions collapsed after both parties failed to agree on the terms of a deal.
Millennium BCP is present in Poland via Bank Millennium SA.