William Malcolm

Raiffeisenbank Acquires Equa Bank

Raiffeisenbank International (RBI) has signed an agreement to acquire one hundred percent of Equa bank shares from AnaCap Financial Partners. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

“The acquisition of Equa bank is fully in line with our strategy. The Czech Republic is one of the key markets where RBI is determined to continue to grow. Raiffeisenbank’s management has strong shareholder support in all activities related to its expansion in the Czech market,” said Raiffeisenbank CEO Igor Vida.

Completion of the transaction is scheduled for the end of the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals. In case of successful completion of the transaction, it is planned to merge Equa bank with Raiffeisenbank.

“From the point of view of our shareholders, the sale of the Equa group is a very successful completion of a more than ten-year investment project in the Czech Republic,” said Equa bank.

Equa bank focuses, among other things, on consumer loans and serves almost 480,000 customers. The proposed acquisition is part of RBI’s strategy to expand its operations in selected key markets. At the end of 2020, Equa bank’s total assets were 2.8 billion euros (about 72 billion CZK). During the same period, Raiffeisenbank reported assets of EUR 15.7 billion (approximately CZK 405 billion).

“In a short time, another merger was announced on the Czech banking market,” Capitallinked.com analyst Radim Dohnal told ČTK, referring to PPF Moneta’s offer to merge with its companies Air Bank, Homecredit CR, and SK and the Zonky brand. According to him, this corresponds to the strategy throughout the developed world. The consolidation of banks and financial groups is the only way to withstand the challenging regulatory environment and defend its position against fintech companies. “We will monitor further purchases or sales, especially of smaller banks,” he added.

Raiffeisenbank, one of the five largest domestic banks, has been providing banking services in the Czech Republic since 1993. The majority shareholder is the Austrian financial institution Raiffeisen Bank International. Last year, Raiffeisenbank’s net profit fell by 49 percent year on year to 2.14 billion crowns. The reason was a coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, for the same reason, Equa bank’s consolidated net profit fell by 55 percent year-on-year to CZK 182 million. Equa bank is one of the smaller banks. It entered the Czech market in 2011 after Equa Group Limited took over Banco Popolare ČR. Equa Group has so far owned funds managed by the British company AnaCap Financial Partners LLP.