13 Dec 2017 14:15

Sberbank sells Ukrainian subsidiary VS Bank to businessman Tigipko

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) - Sberbank Europe AG, a subsidiary of Sberbank has concluded a deal to sell its 99.92% stake in Ukraine's VS Bank to Sergei Tigipko's TAS Group, the leading Russian lender said in a statement.

Completion of the transaction was approved by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, as well as the European Central Bank and the National Bank of Ukraine.

Commenting on the deal, Tigipko said that the acquisition of VS Bank was in line with the group's long-term strategy for developing the financial sector and will boost its position on the Ukrainian banking market.

"Investment in the acquisition of VS Bank is not only a step towards TAS Group's future growth, but most importantly, an investment in the stable development of the Ukrainian financial system," he was cited as saying on the group's website.

Sberbank sold the subsidiary as part of its strategy to exit the Ukrainian banking sector. The bank said that the deal will not have a significant impact on the Sberbank Group's financial results.

Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP acted as Sberbank's legal advisor for the transaction.

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) gave approval in early November 2017 for businessman Sergei Tigipko to indirectly acquire 99.9% of VS Bank. The direct buyer is Cyprus-based Bailican Limited.

VS Bank (known as Volksbank until December 16, 2013 and previously as Elektron Bank) was founded in 1991. VS Bank ranked 28th by gross assets among Ukraine's 88 operating banks as of July 1, 2017, NBU data show.