ECONOMY

NBG agrees to sell Ethniki to CVC Capital

nbg-agrees-to-sell-ethniki-to-cvc-capital

National Bank has agreed to sell its insurance unit, Ethniki, to private equity group CVC Capital, two banking sources close to the process said on Friday.

“There is agreement to sell a 90% stake in [Ethniki] Insurance to CVC Capital,” one of the bankers told Reuters, declining to be named. Private equity group CVC Capital, with $109 billion of assets under management, was the only bidder for NBG’s wholly owned insurance unit and submitted a binding bid one year ago. Reuters reported last month that NBG had completed talks to sell the insurance subsidiary to CVC Capital and that the bank’s management and board of directors backed the sale.

The divestment is part of NBG’s EU-approved restructuring plan to shed non-core assets. The bank has sold assets in the Balkans, including operations in Bulgaria, Albania and Romania, and Turkey, downsizing to focus on its core domestic banking business.

NBG, 40% owned by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), Greece’s bank rescue fund, was due to hold a board meeting late on Friday ahead of a scheduled full-year 2020 earnings announcement.

HFSF, which has sought the advice of Morgan Stanley and Deloitte on the deal, also backs the sale, the other banker said. [Reuters]