Spain’s top lender Santander it looking to gain full control of Polish Bank Zachodni WBK. It is offering to buy minority investors out for a 4.5 percent premium on their shares.
The move follows Santander’s agreement last September to buy just over 70 percent of the assets of the polish lender from Allied Irish Banks. That purchase is still awaiting regulatory approval.
Santander has emerged as one of the strongest lenders after the global financial crisis, despite worries about the Spanish economy.
It has been boosting its overseas presence and is one of several Western banks targeting Polish growth. Zachodni is Poland’s fifth largest bank.
Poland, the sole EU member to escape recession in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, has seen considerable deal activity in recent months. Foreign owners, with troubles at home, have been seeking to sell holdings matched by asset-hungry buyers such as Santander.
Last week, Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in Polbank, the Polish arm of Greece’s EFG Eurobank Ergasias for 490 million euros.
There is also speculation that Portugal’s Millennium bcp is seeking a buyer for its Bank Millennium