FIRST BANK announces the signing of an agreement with Bank Leumi le-Israel B.M for purchasing all the Bank’s holdings in its subsidiary Bank Leumi Romania.
The value of the transaction is not subject to public communication.
The purchase is yet to be approved by the National Bank of Romania and the Romanian Competition Council and is expected to be finalized within the second part of the year.
Bank Leumi Romania owns a national network of 15 branches, employs 200 banking professionals, has assets of 250+ million euros and 150m euros in deposits.
Dominic Bruynseels, Executive President FIRST BANK said
“This acquisition is part of the bank’s strategy to increase and consolidate its presence in Romania, aiming to become a strong banking player on the local market. This is the second acquisition that the American investment fund JC Flowers & Co. has made on the Romanian market in less than a year proving its interest and commitment in this valuable market. As a value-based acquirer we remain open to similar growth opportunities. Meanwhile we will continue to do business “The American Way”, focusing on growth through quality service to customers, digitalization and efficiency.”
Hanan Friedman, First Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy, innovation and Transformation Division said
"The sale of Bank Leumi Romania to First Bank, which is owned by a leading international financial entity, will enable the continued implementation of Leumi's 'follow your customer' strategy. This agreement constitutes yet another step in the implementation of Leumi's international deployment strategy, which is focused on commercial banking operations through our subsidiaries in the US and UK, and in other regions through collaborations with leading local entities".
About FIRST BANK
Based in Bucharest, First Bank provides a broad range of products and services targeting both domestic and international customers, including retail, SME and corporate banking services.
First Bank operates through 100 branches, 1300 professionals and has approximately 130,000 active clients. For more information, please visit www.firstbank.ro.
About J.C. Flowers & Co.
J.C. Flowers & Co. is a leader in private equity investment services specializing in global investments in the financial services industry. Founded in 1998, J.C. Flowers & Co. has invested more than $15 billion in 53 portfolio companies across 18 countries, in many sub-sectors of the financial industry, including banking, insurance, reinsurance, specialized financial services and asset management services. JC Flowers & Co. manages assets worth approximately $6 billion and has offices in New York and London.
For more information, please visit www.jcfco.com.
About Bank Leumi le-Israel B.M
Bank Leumi is one of the leading financial corporations in Israel, providing comprehensive banking services and holding an approximate 30% domestic market share. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Leumi has a presence in key financial centers across the globe, including London, New York, Palo Alto and Shanghai. In 2018, Leumi reported a net profit of NIS 3.3 billion ($880 million) with total assets under management reaching NIS 1.4 billion. Leumi is leading the way for innovation in global banking. Today, ‘Leumi Digital’ spearheads the digital banking field in Israel, with a wide range of innovative services based on cutting-edge technologies. Leumi is the first Israeli bank to launch a standalone fully-mobile banking platform – 'Pepper'.
Jefferies LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bank Leumi on the transaction.
Bucharest, April 17th 2019