The submission of binding offers for the acquisition of National Bank’s insurance arm appears to be just a matter of days, if not hours, following the rejection by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition of Greece’s request to suspend the sale.
Sources spoke on Thursday about the tabling of binding bids by four candidate buyers on Friday. In any case, this will be done by March 10 for the transaction to be completed by the end of the month, according to schedule.
The management of National Bank has completed the presentation of Ethniki Insurance to the four suitors, from an original short list of five investors. They are three Chinese groups (Fosun, Gongbao and Wintime), plus a joint bid by Greek-American fund Kalamos, in cooperation with the Intercontinental fund, the Exin group and Greek insurance firm Kanellopoulos-Adamantiadis. The fifth candidate, US fund Apollo, did not turn up for the presentation.
The course of the sale will be determined by the price the four candidate buyers are prepared to offer. Ethniki’s valuation puts the price of 100 percent of its shares at between 800 million and 1 billion euros, without this being the starting price in the tender.
The sale has already been delayed as the restructuring plan of National Bank provided for its completion within 2016.