AnaCap finally seals third banking acquisition

Financial services-focused buyout firm AnaCap has completed its third acquisition of a bank after 18 months of negotiations, purchasing Czech Republic-based Banco Popolare Ceská republika.

AnaCap Financial Partners completed the acquisition of retail and commercial bank Banco Popolare Ceská Republika from Italian parent Banco Popolare. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Private Equity International reported in late 2009 that AnaCap had agree to pay about €48 million for the bank.

The firm had only recently received approval for the deal from the Czech regulator, allowing the acquisition to be completed, an AnaCap spokesperson said.

A number of groups co-invested alongside AnaCap in the deal, including Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Alpha Associates and the State of New Jersey via Hamilton Lane, according to a statement.

AnaCap said it planned to rename the company Equa Bank. It has also appointed a new chief executive, David Putts, to lead the new operation. Putts joins from PZU, the largest insurance group in Central and Eastern Europe. He previously held senior positions at HSBC and Barclays, where he was chief operating officer within the UK banking division.

The deal marks the third acquisition of a bank by AnaCap. In May 2009, it bought Aldermore Bank – previously known as Ruffler Bank – a UK-based lender. A month later, it acquired Malta-based Mediterranean Bank.

Peter Cartwright, co-managing partner at AnaCap, said: “The credit crunch has encouraged some financial services groups to divest what had become non-core activities. We are delighted that this transaction has given us the rare opportunity to grow a banking business in one of the most attractive markets in Europe.”