ECONOMY

Emporiki over to Credit Agricole

Credit Agricole’s public offer to acquire a majority stake in Emporiki Bank has been successful, with the French bank increasing its stake from just over 8 percent to 71.97 percent. Specifically, 1,300 Emporiki shareholders, including the state, pension funds and other institutional investors, as well as retail investors, accepted the public offer by Monday’s deadline and transferred a total of 69,574,826 shares to Credit Agricole, representing a 52.55 percent stake. The French bank also holds 25,702,456 shares, 11,700,097 of which were its original holdings before the public offer, with the other 14,002,359 having been acquired through the stock market after the offer was made. Thus, the total number of shares transferred to Credit Agricole was 83,577,185. The transfer of the shares will be officially cleared on August 16. The Bank of Greece has already approved the transfer of ownership. The European Commission is expected to ratify it by August 21. «I am overjoyed with the success of Credit Agricole’s public offer for Emporiki and I wish to thank the Greek government and all the other shareholders for the confidence they showed in our bank by offering their shares. This transaction is a great step forward for our international strategy and will contribute to our aim to increase revenues from our activities outside France,» said Credit Agricole President Rene Carron. «We are eager to strengthen the bank in Greece and the neighboring countries for the benefit of Emporiki’s clients and employees,» he added. «Strategically, this acquisition is in total harmony with our goals, since it allows us to extend our geographic presence and gives us access to a growing market in a fast-growing region. It also fulfills our financial criteria regarding acquisitions. We will now focus on modernizing Emporiki’s operations, including risk assessment, the promotion of new products, client management, as well as relations with personnel and their training according to Credit Agricole’s best practices,» said Credit Agricole’s Managing Director Georges Pauget.