American investment fund JC Flowers is reportedly in pole position for taking over the Romanian subsidiary of French group Credit Agricole, according to Ziarul Financiar.
This would be the fund’s third acquisition on the local market. In the last two years, JC Flowers has purchased Piraeus Bank and Leumi Bank and integrated them under the First Bank brand.
French group Credit Agricole has been trying to sell its Romanian subsidiary for a long time. According to some sources familiar with the negotiations, two bidders are still in the race for Credit Agricole Romania: First Bank and Vista Bank, formerly Marfin Bank, now owned by the Greek Vardinoyannis family.
UniCredit’s investment division coordinates the sale process.
At the end of 2019, Credit Agricole Romania was 21st on the local market with assets worth RON 2.3 billion (almost EUR 500 million) and a market share of only 0.47%. The bank’s equity was RON 213 mln (EUR 45 mln).
Credit Agricole’s operations in Romania have never been high on the group’s agenda. Credit Agricole inherited the operations in Romania from the Greek group Emporiki Bank, which it has sold to Alpha Bank in the meantime. The French group kept Emporiki’s foreign operations, including the Romanian bank.
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