William Malcolm

CNB Approves PPF Raising Moneta Stake

Tanemo from the PPF Group received approval from the Czech National Bank to increase its stake in Moneta Money Bank to 28.36 percent. Tanemo received a confirmation from its shareholders that it had repurchased 141,723,860 shares from Moneta’s voluntary public repurchase offer. The price for the purchased shares would reach 11.3 billion crowns.

The settlement will be governed by the terms of the public share repurchase proposal, which was published on February 8. Most approvals were sent by legal entities, seven percent by natural persons. Foreign shareholders account for a larger share of the entire buyout, almost 87 percent. In a voluntary share repurchase offer, Tanemo offered CZK 80 per Moneta share.

The CNB’s approval allows Tanemo to settle the transfer of ownership and the payment of the contingent part of the public share repurchase proposal. The settlement date of the contingent portion of the repurchase was set for April 20, 2021. The total amount of the public offer to repurchase shares for up to ten percent of Moneta’s shares was settled by Tanemo on March 24 this year.

At the beginning of February, Moneta’s Board of Directors unanimously concluded that PPF’s voluntary public proposal to purchase part of Moneta’s shares from its shareholders up to 20 percent, with the possibility of increasing to 29 percent, is in line with the interests of the bank and its shareholders. The realization of a possible connection with Air Bank, the Czech and Slovak Home Credit, and the company Benxy (Zonky brand) depends on the shareholders’ in-depth inspection and approval.

Moneta received a proposal from the PPF group of billionaire Petr Kellner, who died at the end of March in a helicopter crash in Alaska on January 22 this year. The merger of Moneta and Air Bank may create the third-largest bank on the Czech market after Česká spořitelna and ČSOB, according to the number of clients. The shareholders will decide on the offer at the General Meeting on April 28.

“A share exceeding 28 percent gives the PPF Group a decent chance to push through its proposal, as not all shareholders traditionally attend the General Meeting,” Cyrrus analyst Tomáš Pfeiler said. However, according to him, it can be expected that currently, more activist players predominate in Moneta’s shareholder structure. Those less active have already sold their shares. “The fight for Monet is far from over,” he added.

Today, the economic daily wrote that the activist London fund Petrus Advisors also started buying the bank’s shares, which considers the transaction to be disadvantageous for Moneta and its shareholders. According to a report for the CNB, the fund exceeded three percent by March 10 and already owned over five percent of Moneta’s shares on March 26.

PPF Group invests in many industries, from financial services, telecommunications, real estate, engineering to biotechnology. At the end of the first half of the year, PPF owned assets worth 44 billion euros (approximately 1.15 trillion crowns) and employed 98,000 people worldwide.

Moneta Money Bank has been operating under its current name since 2016. At that time, the bank’s name was changed from the former GE Money Bank to its listing on the stock exchange in May of the same year. Moneta is one of the largest companies traded on the Prague Stock Exchange.