Erste plans to raise €1.65 billion in a rights offering at BSE

Publish date: Astazi, 03-11-2009
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Austrian-based banking group Erste Bank, majority shareholder of BCR said it planned to raise capital by €1.65 billion in a rights offering, at which Bucharest Stock Exchange investors can subscribe, in order to boost its capital indicators and improve capital structure. Erste Group will issue 60 million shares, the price of the offering being €27.50/share, the closing quote of Erste stocks at Vienna Stock Exchange. If all of the shares are taken up at the assumed offer price, the Bank's total equity will increase to €15.7 billion.Erste Group issues 317.9 million shares, and if the new issuing will be fully subscribed, the number of shares will rise by around 19%.

The offering and subscription periods are scheduled to begin on November 2, 2009. The decision was made by the Directorate of Erste Group Bank AG with the approval of the Supervisory Council. The prospectus on the rights offering and global offering has been filed to Austrian Capital Market Authority (FMA). "The capital increase will take the form of a public offering in Austria, the Czech Republic and Romania and an international private placement to institutional investors in certain other jurisdictions", Erste said in a press release.The capital increase will be an 'at market' rights issue with subscription rights for existing shareholders in the ratio of 3 new shares for each 16 shares held. The maximum offer price will be € 32.

The 5.1% shareholder Criteria CaixaCorp, S.A. indicated to Erste Group Bank its intention to exercise all of its subscription rights for the new shares and to acquire and exercise all of Erste Stiftung's subscription rights. "The final offer price for the new shares will be determined after the end of the offering period, and after the end of the book-building procedure, in order to reflect the market price at that time", Erste said in the press release.

Retail investors from Austria, Czech Republic and Romania who place their buy orders for the new shares at Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG, at the saving banks in Austria (osterreichische Sparkassen), at Central European e-Finance AG, Česka spořitelna, brokerjet Česke spořitelny, benefit of the preferred allocation of 700 shares "with the condition to remain available after the use of the rights offering", said Erste. The registration date of subscription rights for the new shares was October 30, and offering and subscription period are scheduled to begin on November 2, 2009 and to end on November 17."Subscription rights for new shares can be exercised by November 2, 2009, until November 16. Subscription rights will not be subject to trading", the press release states.

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