Sweden's Swedbank To Buy TAS-Kommerzbank In Ukraine

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Stockholm-based Swedbank AB said it has agreed to buy TAS-Kommerzbank in Ukraine for $735 million in a move to expand its operations in Eastern Europe.

Swedbank's Chairman Carl Eric Stalberg

The payment for TAS includes an equity contribution of $50 million at the closing of the deal, Swedbank said.

"TAS is yet another step to enhance growth for Swedbank following our success in the Baltic countries. Ukraine is an important tiger economy with impressive growth rate and positive development," Swedbank's Chairman Carl Eric Stalberg said in a statement.

Kyiv-based TAS has 170 branches and 2,300 staff. At the end of 2006 it recorded a profit of $10 million and total assets of $1.14 billion.

"We invest in a bank geared for rapid growth with an experienced management commitment to our agreed strategy," Swedbank's Chief Executive Jan Liden said.

Swedbank, a market leader in the Baltic countries through its Hansabank unit, said it will use its Hansabank experience to drive the expansion in Ukraine.

The deal is subject to approval from relevant authorities and is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

Source: Kyiv Post