A new twist occurred between the former almost mergers Alpha Bank and National Bank of Greece, as Morgan Stancley acquired 5.1% of Alpha stakes. Some Greek economic portals talk about an “aggressive takeover” by the National Bank of Greece and others report of huge acquiring of Alpha Bank shared by foreign banks like Goldman Sachs and Merril Lynch.
Alpha Bank that rejected the NBG merger offer, issused a statement Monday morning accusing Morgan Stanley, a NBG advisor, of unsolicited actions. See the full statement below.
Yesterday Alpha Bank said that shareholders like the Paramount (Qatar) with 3% stakes, Fidelity with 2.25% and the BlackRock with 1,5% were supporting the managements’ decision not to merge with NBG.
After the twists among Alpha, Morgan Stancley and NBG errupted, some new players entered the battle field. Greek economic portal BankingNewsreported earlier today that Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch had intervened in the Greek banks rally at the ASE today and bought mostly Alpha Bank shares.
The Alpha Bank statement on Monrgan Stanley’s stake acquiring:
Alpha Bank announces that it has received and published, pursuant to Law 3556/2007, a statement/notice of Morgan Stanley that it has increased, through Morgan Stanley and Co. International PLC and Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc. New York acting on their own behalf, its stake in
Alpha Bank΄s share capital, which now amounts to 5.1% thereof. Said holding was acquired on an unsolicited basis, without prior notice to, or communication with, the issuer, as is customary in case of interested institutional investors.
Morgan Stanley has, inter alia, acted as lead advisor to National Bank of Greece (NBG) in connection with the NBG (termed as friendly) merger offer to Alpha Bank dated January 18, 2011, and as a joint Bookrunner in NBG΄s September 2010 rights issue.
Alpha Bank shall assist the competent authorities to ensure compliance with applicable laws, and as ever will continue to work in the interests of its shareholders, employees and customers, particularly in the present uncertainty.
Earlier on Monday, Alpha Bank Chief Operating Officer Spyros Filaretos said the bank wouldn’t consider any merger offers from National Bank of Greece and that “as far as we are concerned this deal is dead,” according to the Financial Times.
Alpha Bank’s Chief Financial Officer Vassilios Psaltis said that the bank’s stance is supported by its “large, visible foreign shareholders,” which include Qatar, Blackrock Inc. and Fidelity International Ltd., and who are “pretty appreciative of the approach we’re taking.” (Source: Capital/gr)
Some Greek media reported of rumors about a “hostile acquiring”, however the soaring rally today at the Athens Stock Exchange won’t let the fun being spoiled.