Russia's top lender Sberbank acquired 100 percent of Volksbank International (VBI), an Eastern European subsidiary of Austria's Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG banking group, for 505 million euros in order to further expand into Europe, Sberbank said late on Wednesday.
Excluding VB Romania, VBI has 295 branches and over 600,000 clients. VBI’s subsidiaries are within the top 10 financial institutions by total assets in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, and within the top 15 financial institutions by total assets in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia.
"This transaction is an important step in Sberbank's international strategy and in our journey for building a truly global financial corporation. Sberbank is uniquely positioned due to its capital and funding capabilities to benefit from a growth potential offered by Central and Eastern European countries," Sberbank head German Gref was quoted in the statement as saying.
Sberbank Deputy Chairman Andrei Donskikh told the Prime news agency that VBI offices might be re-branded into Sberbank's brand name. The top Russian bank will also appoint Siegfried Wolf, former head of Canada's Magna, one of the world's largest car components producers, as VBI board chairman on Thursday, Sberbank Deputy Chairman Sergei Gorkov told Prime.