The Deal

UniCredit Romania has agreed a merger with Alpha Bank. The merger will result in the creation of the third-largest bank in Romania, with a combined 12% market share by total assets. Alpha Bank is expected to retain a 9.9% stake, in addition to receiving a payment of €300m. The transaction is expected to be completed in 2024.

The merger will grant customers of Alpha Bank Romania access to an enlarged range of services and products. Both parties have said they will ensure continuity and quality of service to their clients throughout the period of transition.

As well as the merger, the deal will also include a strategic partnership for Greece. The partnership will establish a framework in Greece to distribute UniCredit’s asset management and unit-linked products to Alpha Bank’s clients. Additionally, there will be the creation of a joint venture in pension-saving products with UniCredit becoming a 51% shareholder in AlphaLife.

Why it matters

It is the first purchase by UniCredit under the leadership of Andrea Orcel, who took over as CEO in 2021. This is a huge show of faith in the deal and the market they are investing in. In a call with the media to discuss the purchase, Orcel sounded pleased with the deal, but left room for interpretation with his ambition for further deals. Orcel said: “for the time being and for the foreseeable future this is the best alliance we could have struck.”

The merger combines two franchises in a high-growth country and really cements UniCredit presence in Romania. The transaction will enable UniCredit to enhance its presence in Romania and expand its product and platform reach to Greece, a country with strong growth prospects.

The could also have the potential to change the perception of the Greek economy. Greece, following structural reform in recent years, has returned to being a high-growth country with strong potential and represents an important hub for UniCredit’s Central European and Eastern European franchise, through its commercial connection across this region supported by trade and tourism. This partnership could soon be symbolic of a return to form for Greece’s economy.

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The partnership with UniCredit supports Alpha Bank’s strategy and underpins its franchise value, with the product offering accelerating the delivery of its business plan targets. It will look to further enhance Alpha Bank’s customer servicing capabilities, through sharing of know-how and leveraging on UniCredit’s products and long-standing presence in the home markets of Italy and Germany as well as its Central European and Eastern European franchise.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.