BZ WBK says buys Deutsche Bank's Polish assets for $362 million

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WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s third-largest lender Bank Zachodni WBK said on Thursday it has signed a deal to buy Deutsche Bank’s Polish assets for 1.29 billion zloty ($362 million), hoping to strengthen its position in the market.

In November, sources told Reuters that Santander, which owns BZ WBK, was in exclusive talks to buy the bulk of Deutsche’s business in Poland.

BZ WBK said it will buy Deutsche’s retail business, excluding its foreign currency credit portfolio, private banking, small and medium enterprises business and a brokerage at a price of 0.6 to book value.

BZ WBK will pay 80 percent in shares, with the rest in cash. It will issue 2.75 million new shares to Deutsche Bank AG, according to the agreement. The stake accounts to 2.7 percent of BZ WBK shares. The transaction is to be closed by end-2018.

The move follows a string of bank merger and acquisition deals in Poland driven by tough competition, low interest rates and efforts by the country’s eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party to curb what it sees as excessive foreign ownership.

(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Adrian Croft)

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