Greece’s Piraeus Bank has agreed to offload its entire stake in Piraeus Bank Romania (PBR), its Romanian banking arm, to American investment firm J.C. Flowers (JCF).

Piraeus Bank Romania offers retail, SME and corporate banking services. The business, which is based in Bucharest, managed €1.5bn in assets at the end of September 2017. It has 99 branches and employs over 1,300 staff.

The transaction, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is expected to have a neutral impact on the bank’s regulatory capital position.

Commenting on the deal, Piraeus Bank CEO Christos Megalou said: “The sale of our banking operations in Romania represents another major step towards the timely execution of the Group’s restructuring plan commitments, as those agreed with the Directorate General of Competition of the European Commission, as well as the implementation of the strategic plan of the Group, “Agenda 2020”.”

The deal already obtained the nod from the board of directors of Piraeus Bank and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. It is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

JCF CEO and managing director J. Christopher Flowers said: “Piraeus Bank Romania has a solid solvency, liquidity, and asset quality profile in the fastest-growing economy in the European Union. We look forward to working with Piraeus Bank Romania to complete the acquisition and create a strong independent bank in the dynamic, local banking sector in Romania.”

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