Santander has finally agreed a deal with KBC
to acquire the Belgian lender’s Poland-based subsidiary Kredyt

Santander will merge its Bank Zachodni WBK
unit with Kredyt Bank in an all-share deal that values the combined
entity at PLN20.8bn ($6.7bn).

The newly enlarged Zachodni WBK division of
Santander will become the third-largest bank in Poland by branches
with 995 outlets (including 96 franchise outlets) serving 3.5m

The merger will give Santander a market share
for deposits in Poland of 9.6% and a lending market share of

Bank Zachodni WBK is currently Poland’s
fifth-largest bank by assets (PLN52bn) with 622 branches. Kredyt
Bank has assets of around PLN43bn and 373 outlets.

PKO BP and Bank Pekao remain the largest banks
in Poland by branches with 1,200 and 1,000 units respectively.

Santander chairman Emilio Botin said:

 “With this transaction,
Santander will significantly strengthen its presence in Poland, one
of the most dynamic economies in Europe, obtaining the critical
mass we seek in our core markets.”