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Belgium's KBC launches buyout offer for Bulgaria's EIBank

Date: 31.12.2007

Belgian banking group KBC has launched a buyout offer to minority shareholders in EIBank, its recently acquired subsidiary in Bulgaria, the group said in a statement to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE), where EIBank is listed.

KBC holds directly or indirectly 75,58% in the Bulgarian bank, with another 22,25% owned by board chairwoman and KBC partner Tsvetelina Borislavova.

The Belgian bank's offer is for the balance 2,17%, or 150 950 shares, in the hands of minority shareholders.

KBC priced its offer at BGN 110,34 per share, the same price it paid in September when it agreed to buy a 75% stake in EIBank.

KBC intends to delist the Bulgarian bank, but is required by Bulgarian laws to make an offer to minority shareholders before doing so.

EIBank also told BSE, in a separate statement, that Fitch Ratings initiated coverage of the bank with a credit rating of A- with a stable outlook, higher than Bulgaria's own BBB.

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