Belgium-based KBC Bank has completed the previously announced takeover of United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and Interlease from the National Bank of Greece in a cash transaction valued at €610m.

The acquisition, which was originally announced in December 2016, is closed following the receipt of required regulatory and anti-trust approvals.

Following the completion of the deal, UBB-CIBANK and DZI Bank are expected to emerge as the stronger player in bank-insurance in Bulgaria, one of KBC’s core markets.

Additionally, the takeover will bolster KBC’s footprint in leasing, asset management and factoring business in Bulgaria.

KBC Group CEO of international markets business unit Luc Popelier said: “This transaction substantially strengthens KBC’s position in Bulgaria and is a fine example of KBC’s strategic approach on its core markets.

“We are convinced that both the clients of UBB and CIBANK and the Bulgarian economy as a whole will benefit from the joint forces of these two strong brands.”

KBC said that the operational integration of the business entities will be completed gradually.