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ASSETS: Bank of Cyprus to sell Romania hotel for €95 mln

21 August, 2014

The Bank of Cyprus said it has signed an agreement for the sale of its assets in Romania, saying it would enhance its liquidity by €95 mln.
The bank said it was selling the assets related to Societatea Companiilor Hoteliere Grand S.R.L. (“GHES”), owner of the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel property to Strabag SE, an Austrian company.
The assets comprise (i) a facility agreement between GHES, as borrower, and Bank of Cyprus – Romania Branch, as lender, (ii) 1,474,482 shares issued by GHES to an affiliate of the bank representing 35,292% of the issued share capital of GHES, and (iii) a subordinated loan agreement between GHES, as borrower, and an affiliate of the bank, as lender.
The deal is expected to be concluded by the end of September or October.
The bank said that the accounting loss from the transaction is around €1 mln, but there is a positive impact of €7 mln on the Group’s capital position, after taking into account the reduction in risk weighted assets.
The bank has been disposing of non-core assets, including banking operations in the Ukraine, other assets held by now-defunct Popular Laiki and is considering selling its 80% Russia affiliate, Uniastrum.
Merging of the Bank of Cyprus and ex-Laiki operations has also saved the group some €5 mln in annual rent, while other dormant properties in Cyprus, Greece and the UK are up for sale.
The Group’s jewel insurance businesses, EuroLife and General Insurance Co., will probably stay, as buyers are sought for the CNP Assurance business, 51% controlled by the French Insurance giant that also wants to dispose of its loss-making Cyprus operations.