Building on the Group's long-lasting relationship with Crédit Agricole SA, UniCredit recently undertook a new opportunity to support the French bank in its ongoing strategy of divesting some non-core Central and Eastern European assets.
The story of this latest transaction can be traced back through a series of projects, starting in 2014 when UniCredit acted as an exclusive financial advisor to Crédit Agricole SA in the disposal of 100% stake in its Bulgarian subsidiary to Corporate Commercial Bank AD, the fourth largest bank in Bulgaria. The deal was executed by the Corporate Finance Advisory team in less than six months despite the backdrop of a difficult external M&A environment for banks in Bulgaria and the wider region. In 2015, Crédit Agricole Albania was sold to Tranzit Sh.k.p, an Albanian non-banking financial institution owned by investment funds managed by NCH Capital. Once again, UniCredit advised Crédit Agricole SA in a very complex South East European market.
Following the success of these early mandates, just last month UniCredit led the sale process of another cross-border banking platform, Crédit Agricole Bank Romania, to VISTA Bank, owned by Greek Vardinogiannis Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in South-eastern Europe. The transaction attracted interest from a wide spectrum of strategic and financial investors.
In each case, UniCredit leveraged on its expertise in Central and Eastern Europe to provide the client with strong guidance and support, largely thanks to the capabilities of a market-leading CE&EE FIG M&A advisory team to execute complex regional exit and entry processes through multiple jurisdictions.