The Republic of Slovenia, acting through SDH, launched a proposed placement of up to 1,999,999 ordinary shares in NLB, representing 10% of the Bank's existing share capital minus 1 (one) share. SDH has raised the gross proceeds from the Sale in the amount of EUR 109.5 million.
Republic of Slovenia will receive the total amount of EUR 123.8 million arising from the NLB Shares in 2019. With the sale of the remaining shares, almost all restrictions from the commitments made by the Republic of Slovenia to the European Commission, when granting state aid in 2013, have been lifted.
Blaz BRODNJAK, President of the NLB Management Board, said:
"We will finally be able to start operating with our full potential at home and in the SEE market, as well as address the challenges of our competitors on a more equal ground. NLB will once again be able to start leasing and factoring activities and begin to invest even more intensively and without restrictions in digitization, development of new channels and the highest level of user experience. When the ban on mergers and acquisitions will be lifted in the beginning of 2020, NLB as regional specialist will be able to seek opportunities to strengthen our position as a system player in all the markets where we operate even more actively."
Igor KRZAN, President of the SDH Management Board, commented:
"We are satisfied to have brought one of the largest and the most demanding privatisation process in Slovenia to a successful closure. SDH has carefully considered the time frame for implementing the transaction and carried it out in the time periods which are in the interest both of the Republic of Slovenia and of NLB as with the said Sale some of the commitments towards the European Commission have ceased to apply. Thus, NLB will again be able to operate in the domestic market and in the markets of the SE Europe with all of its capacities and start to compete with its competitors on more equal grounds. Following the privatisation, NLB remains an independent Slovenian financial institution which will continue to support the development of the Slovenian economy and will keep representing an important proportion of the portfolio of State's capital assets managed by SDH."
More details about the transaction can be found on SDH's website.
Sources: NLB, SDH