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Reports: Abanka Stake Up For Sale

Ljubljana, 19 October (STA) - A consortium of owners of the Abanka bank is said to be preparing a public call for bids for a 39% stake in Slovenia's third-largest bank, business daily Finance writes on Tuesday.

The paper quotes sources close to the matter in saying that shares in Abanka are being put up for sale by the Sava conglomerate (owner of 23.8%) and gaming company Hit (6.5%) as well as financial firms Vipa Holding (3.7%), Diamond (3.6%) and Zvon Ena (2.4%).

The members of the consortium have reportedly signed a shareholder agreement in which they have set the sale price at EUR 76 per share, which would value the entire stake at around EUR 213m.

The news has not been confirmed by the companies involved. "Sava does not comment on rumours. If and when new facts arise in relation to our stake in Abanka, we will inform the public about it as we have in the past," Sava is quoted by Finance.

Supervisors of the bank which holds an 8.8% share of Slovenia's market also denied that the sale was underway. However, Finance quotes unofficial sources in saying that the transaction could be completed before the year is out.

Abanka's single biggest shareholder currently is the state-controlled insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, which holds a combined 33% together with its fund Triglav VS.

The insurer would not comment on the news, but Finance says that it was invited to take part in the consortium.

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