National Bank, Greece΄s biggest lender, said on Monday it was in talks with France΄s Credit Agricole over a strategic alliance with Credit Agricole΄s Greek unit, Emporiki.
“There were discussions between the managements of National and Credit Agricole regarding the potential for future strategic alliances, which are at an initial phase,” National said in a bourse filing.
National said it would inform investors if the talks produce any specific results. A Credit Agricole spokeswoman declined to comment.
There were discussions between the managements of National and Credit Agricole regarding the potential for future strategic alliances, which are at an initial phase,” National said, adding that it would inform investors if the talks bore specific results.
National is the first lender to confirm it is in discussions with Credit Agricole over a possible takeover of Emporiki, partial or otherwise, depending on whether Credit Agricole decides to retain a minority stake.
Credit Agricole shares rose nearly 8 per cent in early trading, reaching 3.75 euros ($4.76) at 0835GMT.
Greek media reports suggest that two other Greek lenders, EFG Eurobank and Alpha Bank, have also declared an interest in Emporiki.
However, a Paris-based source familiar with the matter indicated that there were more suitors: “There have been expressions of interest … and not just from three banks.”
The source added that a deal had not been done yet and that there were layers of “complexity”, including the need for solvent partners and liability guarantees. (Furthr Reading Reuters )
Emporiki Bank is a Greek bank, with headquarters in Athens ands 370 branches across Greece. The bank has most of its subsidiaries in Cyprus.It also has subsidiaries in Albania, Romania and Bulgaria, and a branch in London that also manages a financing subsidiary. The bank is one of the 500 largest banks in the world.
In August, 2006, the French bank Crédit Agricole, acquired 67% of its capital and since then it controls Emporiki.