Clifford Chance and its Turkish arm, the Yegin Cifti Attorney Partnership, have advised the QNB Group on its acquisition of the National Bank of Greece's 99.81% stake in Finansbank A.S. in Turkey. Freshfields and the Verdi law firm advised the sellers. QNB Group announced that it would launch a Mandatory Tender Offer in Turkey for the remaining 0.19%.
According to QNB, with the addition of Turkey as a new market and a leading Turkish bank to its network, "QNB Group extends its international presence and will be able to increasingly benefit from the rapid development of trade and the strengthening of economic ties between Turkey and the Middle East in general, as well as between Qatar and Turkey in particular. This also reflects QNB Group’s confidence in the long-term prospects of the financial sector and economy of Turkey."
Finansbank is the 5th largest privately owned universal bank in Turkey by total assets, customer deposits, and loans. It has a distribution network of over 620 branches and more than 12 thousand employees in Turkey, along with more than 5.3 million active customers. As of March 31, 2016, Finansbank had USD 32 billion of assets, USD 21.8 billion in loans, and USD 17.3 billion in deposits, as well as total equity amounting to USD 3.8 billion as per International Financial Reporting Standards.
“This transaction is a breakthrough in QNB’s vision to becoming a Middle East and Africa Icon by 2017,” stated QNB Group’s Chief Executive Officer Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari. "Our strategy is to focus on high-growth markets where we see a competitive advantage. Turkey, with its significant market size, population, growth track record, strong economic and banking sector and strategic location as a gateway between Europe, Asia and Africa, represents such a market. We are very excited to be part of Turkey’s and Finansbank’s future development and further enhancing the overall connectivity with international markets and bring Finansbank to the next level as part of the QNB Group.”
Also commenting on the acquisition, Omer Aras, the Chairman and Group CEO of Finansbank said: “The acquisition signifies a thrilling milestone for Finansbank. We are extremely excited to enter into a new era and be part of the QNB Group, and this deal represents a perfect proof of Finansbank’s excellence and globally acknowledged standards. We believe that this acquisition will allow us to take Finansbank to a new level and offer exceptional services for our customers and stakeholders through the large international QNB network which we are now part of.”
"The Clifford Chance team in Dubai was led by Partner Mohammed Al-Shukairy, supported by Senior Associates Andrew Steele and Daniel Boyle. The Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership team acting as Turkish counsel to QNB Group consisted of Partner Itir Ciftci and Counsel Kemal Aksel.
The Moscow-based Freshfields team advising the National Bank of Greece consisted of Partner Sebastian Lawson and Associate Oliver Lyon. Both based in Moscow.
The Verdi team consisted of Partner Can Verdi and Associates Ayse Demirel Atakan, Cem Avaroglu, and Lara Turker.
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