Snoras bids for Austian bank

  • 2005-08-17
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - Last week it was reported that Snoras, a Lithuanian bank with Russian capital, has bid over 100 million euros for Burgenland, an Austrian bank, refuting an earlier story that the bank had failed in its takeover bid.

The Verslo Zinios business daily, citing a report by Austria's business publication Wirtschafts-blatt, wrote that in its bid application Snoras agreed to pay 33 million right away and the entire sum by 2007.

"The Lithuanians have offered to raise the equity of the bank by 50 million euros and submitted a comprehensive business plan," Christian Holler, author of the article, was quoted as saying. He added that the information was leaked to the daily.

Snoras officials neither confirmed nor denied the report. "This might be true; however, I cannot comment anything as I have signed a confidentiality agreement," said bank chairman Raimondas Baranauskas.

He did confirm that Snoras, which is controlled by Russia's Konversbank, was continuing talks over Burgenland and had submitted certain proposals.

He predicted that the tender for the sale of the Austria bank might be held in September. If Snoras succeeded in acquiring the bank, it would develop retail banking in Austria, he added.

"After more than one year in the EU, we are absolutely ready to compete with banks established in Austria's market. Moreover, we are eager to expand abroad," he noted.

Wirtschaftsblatt wrote that Snoras' bid far exceeded the price offered by Austrian industrialist Mirk Kovats. The daily has added that some of Austria's politicians monitoring the sales process have rushed to announce a "top level scandal" and demanded to publish the information on bids received.

Previously the Lietuvos Rytas daily reported that Snoras lost the tender after having bid 95 million euros and that Kovats would become the bank's new owner. The latter offered to pay 110 million euros for the shares in two stages, the paper reported.