Hansabank to buy Lithuanian Savings Bank LTB

Hansabank to buy Lithuanian savings bank LTB Hansabank, 57 % owned by Swedbank (FöreningsSparbanken), and representatives of the Lithuanian state have signed an agreement today providing for the purchase by Hansabank of more than 90% of the Lithuanian savings bank Lietuvos Taupomasis Bankas (LTB). LTB is Lithuania's second-largest bank. The purchase price is LTL 150 million, equivalent to about SEK 375 million at the present exchange rate. At the same time, Hansabank agrees to invest an additional LTL 150 million over the next 18 months in strengthening LTB's capital base and modernizing that bank's IT systems. The agreement comes into force and the acquisition takes place after a 30-day closing period in accordance with Lithuanian law and is subject to the approval by Lithuania's competition authority. "It is highly gratifying, both to Hansabank and to Swedbank, that this acquisition is now taking place. It will give the Hansabank Group a strong position in all three of the Baltic States and benefit customers by being the only truly pan-Baltic bank. For Swedbank, this is yet another step in implementing its Baltic Sea strategy", says Anders Sahlén, Senior Adviser in Swedbank and Chairman of the Hansabank Board of Supervisors. The acquisition merges Hansabank's current subsidiary bank in Lithuania, Hansabankas, with LTB. The resulting bank will have about 36% of the total Lithuanian bank-deposit market and some 25% of that country's bank- loan market. Hansabank's commitment to modernizing LTB also means that LTB will soon be able to offer the Lithuanian market a broad spectrum of new, up-to- date, banking services. "With LTB in Lithuania and the Hansabank Group's already very strong position in both Estonia and Latvia, we will further strengthen our network in the Nordic and Baltic Sea areas. Something that for instance our many smaller and medium-sized corporate customers will be able to make use of", says Annika Wijkström, Swedbank EVP and head of business area Alliances. Swedbank understands that execution of the planned merger of Swedbank and SEB will cause those two bank groups' combined market shares in Lithuania through LTB and SEB-owned Vilnius Bankas to exceed a level acceptable from a competition standpoint. Accordingly, mutual agreement has been reached with the Lithuanian authorities that, after a merger between Swedbank and SEB, the new bank shall decide, within a reasonable period of time, which parts of its Lithuanian holdings will be reduced. For further information: Anders Sahlén, Chairman Hansbank Board of Supervisors and Senior Adviser Swedbank. Phone: (mobile) +46-703-75 00 45 Annika Wijkström, EVP Swedbank and Responsible for Swedbank business area Alliances. Phone +46-8-5859 1397 Einar Frydén, Acting Chief Press Officer, Swedbank. Phones: +46 8 5859 1630; (mobile) +46 705 11 00 33 ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by BIT http://www.bit.se The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2001/04/23/20010423BIT01260/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2001/04/23/20010423BIT01260/bit0001.pdf