UniCredit may offload ATF Bank for $500M

January 31. Universal Newswires

UniCredit may offload ATF Bank for $500MItaly’s largest bank UniCredit may sell Kazakh bank ATF for $500 million, a source close to the Kazakh bank said on Thursday.

The bank may be sold to Kazakh entrepreneur Galimzhan Yesenov, son-in-law to the current mayor of Kazakh business capital Almaty.

“The entire bank costs $500 million,” one source close to the deal told the Reuters news agency.

“Taking into account the share of minority shareholders, the deal is worth a bit less than $500 million.”

If the deal proceeds, it will take be completed by the end of April, as stipulated in a December 2012 agreement between Kazakhstan’s KazNitrogenGaz and the UniCredit Group, a source said.

UniCredit has been trying to offload the struggling Kazakh bank for some time. The Italian lender purchased 92 percent of ATF’s shares in 2007 for $2.1 billion, but lost $727 million after one year due to the global financial credit crisis, which hit both Italy and Kazakhstan particularly hard.

A top official from the Italian bank said in December 2012 it was willing to sell ATF for the right buyer, adding that the bank has recovered well from the crisis.

“If I look at how the situation was in Kazakhstan three or four years ago and what we have achieved in the last couple of years, I think that overall we are happy with the results of the bank,”chief of UniCredit’s central and eastern European operations Gianni Franco Papa said.