ECONOMY

Piraeus close to sealing deal for Millennium Bank

Piraeus Bank has sent some of its top officials to Lisbon on a mission to complete negotiations for the acquisition of Millennium Bank, the subsidiary of Portugal’s Millennium BCP group in Greece. Piraeus is aiming to have the deal completed on Friday, with the terms of the agreement to be published immediately.

According to sources, the Piraeus Bank Group will receive additional funds of 270 million euros as a part of the transaction, while the Portuguese shareholders will provide the 400 million euros required for the Millennium’s recapitalization as determined by the Bank of Greece.

With its planned acquisition of Millennium and the additional capital injection of 270 million euros, the Piraeus Group is taking a decisive step toward ensuring that private investors hold a 10 percent share in the recapitalization process that is needed for the Greek bank to avoid being nationalized.

It was only a few weeks ago that Piraeus announced its acquisition of Geniki Bank from French group Societe Generale. In that case too, the French owners first had to cover the capital requirements of Geniki in the context of the recapitalization, amounting to 281 million euros, while also having to strengthen their former subsidiary with additional funds of 170 million.

Therefore, with the acquisition of Millennium and Geniki, the Piraeus Group will get a boost of 440 million euros in additional funds that will cover a major part of the private share in its recapitalization. Piraeus Bank’s capital requirements have been estimated at 7.335 billion euros, of which 2 billion will be covered through contingent convertibles (CoCos). Piraeus also acquired the healthy part of ATEbank last summer.

Millennium Bank started operating in Greece in September 2000. According to the latest available data, from 2011, the lender’s assets amounted to 6.2 billion euros, its deposits came to 2.94 billion euros and its loan portfolio to 4.65 billion euros. The bank employs 1,194 people and has a network of 119 branches across Greece, half of which (60) are located in Attica.