Eurobank to be Hellenic’s largest shareholder

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Eurobank is on its way to becoming Hellenic Bank’s largest shareholder after announcing an initial deal to buy 13.41% of Wargaming’s 20.61% holding for €70 mln.

Greece’s Eurobank Cyprus subsidiary announced the deal, which will see it take command of 26% of the island’s second-largest lender, as the new shares will add to its 12.6% stake in the Bank.

“This investment is in line with the Eurobank Group’s strategy to strengthen further its presence in the key markets, in which it maintains a strategic interest and is a vote of confidence in the positive prospects of the Cypriot economy,” said Eurobank.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and will be completed upon full satisfaction.

Until then, Wargaming Group Limited will continue to retain full legal and beneficial ownership of the shares for sale and all rights arising therefrom.

Further details of the deal are expected to be made known before the end of the week when Hellenic Bank officially informs the Cyprus Stock Exchange and regulatory authorities.

With the completion of the deal, the Eurobank group, which operates in Cyprus through its company (Eurobank Cyprus), which focuses on business banking, is expected to become the largest shareholder of Hellenic Bank, a position currently held by Dimitra Investment, which has a 21.3% share.

Once the purchase goes through, Wargaming’s share will be reduced to 7.2%.

The news did not come as a surprise to the market, as it was known that Eurobank had been flirting with Hellenic Bank for some time.

The news comes a day after Hellenic posted a €76.4 mln profit for the first nine months, compared to a profit of €21 mln in the same period of 2021, reflecting a rise of 263% year-on-year.

Hellenic has also completed its latest and last voluntary exit scheme, which saw 450 employees pressing the exit button, leaving with a maximum €200,000 compensation each.