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CNB press release on IPB - Monday morning

19.6.2000 8:30

Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka a.s. (CSOB) has reached an agreement with the forced administrator of IPB, the Czech National Bank (CNB) and the Ministry of Finance to acquire the operations of Investicni a postovni banka a.s. (IPB) which was placed under forced administration by the CNB last Friday.

Under the terms of the agreement signed early morning (Monday), CSOB receives the assets and liabilities of IPB against a deferred consideration based on an audit by two international accounting firms to be commenced in the next few days. CSOB will benefit from a number of provisions protecting the value of the assets of IPB and limiting any liability which could arise out of the transaction. CSOB has taken effective operational control over IPB as of Monday morning. The transaction offers CSOB a unique opportunity to take a quantum leap in the development of its retail banking operations which it had set as a strategic priority in the wake of its privatisation last year. The business profile of the two institutions is very complementary, CSOB having particular strengths amongst Czech blue chips whilst IPB’s business focuses primarily on the retail and SME segments.

Last night’s agreement marks a new milestone for the Czech authorities in their efforts to reform the country’s financial services sector, a key requirement for European integration. The transaction also reinforces KBC’s position as the leading Western financial institution in Central Europe.

Commenting on the transaction, CSOB´s Chairman Pavel Kavanek declared “This transaction opens exciting opportunities for CSOB, particularly in terms of the development of our retail banking activities. IPB’s franchise is still valuable on the Czech market and I look forward to working constructively with IPB’s staff and clients in a stable environment”.

Remi Vermeiren, CEO of KBC’s, commented “We are very pleased that CSOB was able to close the transaction because two institutions could not be more complementary than they are. This also means that CSOB can forego important investments that were planned in IT, retail systems and branches”.

Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic, Pavel Mertlik commented: “It was our firm intention to close a transaction by the end of the weekend. As in the case of ING’s acquisition of Barings, speed of execution was key in order to minimise systemic disruptions and costs. I am pleased that despite the complexity of the transaction at hand we were able to meet this challenging deadline”. The Governor of the Czech National Bank said: “I consider the agreement reached as a significant contribution towards the stabilisation of the country´s banking system.” CSOB was advised by Rothschild and Baker & McKenzie.

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