Steiermärkische Sparkasse expands its operations in North Macedonia
On 28 February 2019, Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen AG signed a share purchase agreement with Societe Generale to acquire all the shares owned by Societe Generale in Ohridska Banka Societe Generale (OBSG) in the Republic of North Macedonia, representing circa 74.53 % of the share capital of OBSG. With this transaction, Steiermärkische Sparkasse will be able to considerably strengthen its existing market position in Northern Macedonia.
The conclusion of the bank purchase, will be conducted in the context of a mandatory tender offer targeting all the shares issued by OBSG including the shares held by the remaining minority shareholders, which launch is subject to the approval of the European Central Bank as well as the North Macedonian National Bank, capital market authorities and competition authorities.
“The Western Balkans continue to offer us attractive growth potential. After thoroughly analysing Ohridska Banka Societe Generale, one of the leading internationally active banks in North Macedonia, we have concluded that this bank will match the business model of Steiermärkische Sparkasse due to its size and strategic orientation. As a regional bank which operates across borders, we are clearly focussed on expanding our market position in Styria and the Western Balkan region. So I’m exceedingly pleased to be able to almost triple our presence in North Macedonia with an acquisition which is such a good fit, and to establish ourselves as a referential banking group for the country”, says Gerhard Fabisch, Chief Executive Officer for Steiermärkische Sparkasse.
OBSG currently has total assets of around 650 million euros and over 400 employees. Its business focus is on retail and commercial banking. Steiermärkische Sparkasse has been represented in North Macedonia since 2008 by its local bank subsidiary, Sparkasse Bank Makedonija, with current total assets of 350 million euros. After acquiring OBSG, Steiermärkische Sparkasse will have total assets of around one billion euros in North Macedonia at its disposal, making it the nation’s fourth-largest banking group with a market share of around 12 to 14%, depending on the segment. This investment represents significant appreciation potential, especially if North Macedonia’s politics and economics continue to develop positively during its accession to the EU.