BNP Paribas eyes Poland's Millennium: report

20th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

French financial group BNP Paribas has made a formal expression of interest in taking over the Polish banking operations of Portugal's Millennium BCP, Poland's business daily Parkiet reported Tuesday.

Parkiet said that BNP Paribas was one of three potential suitors for Millennium, alongside two key Polish market players, state-controlled giant PKO BP and Pekao, owned by Italy's UniCredit.

In a statement reacting to the report, Millennium BCP said simply that it had "already three written expressions of interest that have not yet been analyzed, and there are other verbal expressions of interest".

On July 27, Millennium BCP had announced plans to "evaluate opportunities to capture value" from its Polish operations.

"The above-mentioned process of evaluation is still in its initial phase," it said Tuesday.

"There has been no decision taken concerning our Polish operation, regarding the realization of, or model and configuration for, any potential transaction related to this unit, nor have we solicited or received any binding proposals related to this operation."

According to Parkiet, which focuses on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Millennium BCP's 65.51-percent stake in Millennium is worth around 3.6 billion zloty (827 million euros, $1.13 billion).

Founded under the name BIG in 1989, as Poland's communist regime crumbled, Millennium allied with Portugal's BCP in 1998.

BCP became its main investor in 2000, and the bank was rebranded as Millennium three years later.

© 2011 AFP

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