J.C. Flowers & EBRD buy Piraeus Bank Romania

Private equity firm J.C. Flowers and Co and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have completed the acquisition of Piraeus Bank Romania (PBR), the Romanian subsidiary of the Greek Piraeus Bank. While the transaction has been approved by Piraeus Bank’s board and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, it remains subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals by the relevant authorities in Romania. The fee has not been disclosed.

“The sale of our banking operations in Romania represents another major step towards the timely execution of the group’s restructuring plan, as agreed with the European Commission,” said Christos Megalou, Piraeus Group’s CEO. “I am particularly glad that going forward PBR will be owned and managed by one of the most well-esteemed international private equity firms with significant experience in the financial services space across numerous jurisdictions.”

J.C. Flowers and Co is buying a 76.1 per cent stake in of shares in the bank, its first investment in Romania. The EBRD has taken a 19 per cent stake, while the remaining 4.9 per cent of shares will be acquired by the lender’s management.

“Piraeus Bank Romania has solid solvency, liquidity, and asset quality profile in the fastest-growing economy in the European Union. We look forward to working with Piraeus Bank Romania to complete the acquisition and create a strong independent bank in the dynamic, local banking sector in Romania,” said J. Christopher Flowers, CEO and Managing Director of J.C. Flowers and Co.

Headquartered in Bucharest, PBR offers an array of products and services to domestic and international clients, including retail, SME and corporate banking. As of September 2017 it had total assets of 1.5 billion euros. PBR operates through 99 retail units, employs over 1300 people and has approximately 150,000 active clients.  The new shareholders will provide financial resources and restructuring expertise needed to expand the bank’s operations and market share. The change of ownership will also help strengthen the fragmented Romanian financial sector.

J.C. Flowers is a leading private investment firm dedicated to investing globally in the financial services industry. Founded in 1998, the firm has invested more than 15 billion US dollars of capital in 50 portfolio companies in 17 countries across a range of industry subsectors including banking, insurance and reinsurance, securities firms, specialty finance, and services and asset management.