UniCredit Offers to Buy Greece’s Stake in Alpha Bank

Uni Credit
  • Lenders strike distribution deal, agree to merge Romania units
  • Greek government adviser, central bank welcome offer

Italian group UniCredit and Greek Alpha Services and Holdings said on Monday, October 23, that they have agreed on the key economic terms for the merger of their subsidiaries in Romania. The deal will create the third largest bank in the local market with a combined 12% market share by total assets. 

Transaction closing is expected in 2024, “subject to the completion of a due diligence process, corporate approvals for the merger and all necessary regulatory approvals and consents, including on anti-trust,” reads the announcement.

Alpha Bank is expected to retain 9.9% of the combined entity share capital and receive a cash consideration of EUR 300 million. “The cash component remains subject to post due diligence adjustments related to asset quality, if applicable,” the same source said.

Andrea Orcel, CEO of UniCredit Group, commented: “This is the first acquisition UniCredit makes in 15 years, signaling the inherent potential that we, as a business, see in Romania and the Central and Eastern Europe region. The opportunity offered by this merger is significant not only for our current and future customers but also for the employees of both institutions.”

Alpha Bank Romania, present in the top 10 of the largest banks by assets in the local market, recorded a net profit of EUR 23 million in the first semester of 2023, representing a 44% growth compared to H1/2022, according to Ziarul Financiar. Meanwhile, UniCredit reported a consolidated net profit of RON 663.8 million from operations in Romania, up by about 64% compared to the consolidated profit of H1/2022.

In August this year, Orange announced that it reached an agreement on transferring the retail business of Orange Money in Romania to Alpha Bank.

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