VIENNA, April 4 A Bosnian billionaire who made
his fortune with automotive patents has offered to take ailing
bank Hypo Alpe Adria off Austria's hands - if the
state pays him 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion).
The finance ministry confirmed a report in newspaper
Oesterreich, which published the bid letter from Ivan Zilic that
was sent to the ministry this week via his adviser Prince
Hubertus Maximilian zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
The letter says Zilic "expects Austria to pay him 3 billion
euros for the sale, in return for which my client will take over
the bank with all its liabilities".
It said the offer would expire at 1400 GMT on Friday.
Austria had to take over Hypo in 2009 to avoid a collapse
with regional implications after a period of breakneck expansion
in the Balkans.
It is now trying to sell the bank's Balkans network while
hiving off other assets into an expensive "bad bank" that will
wind them down over years.
"We get offers like this to buy Hypo Alpe Adria all the
time. We check whether every offer is serious and feasible.
Concrete negotiations have not arisen so far," the finance
The paper quoted the adviser as saying Zilic had made the
offer because "he wants to do something for his homeland of
Zilic was not immediately available for comment.
($1 = 0.7291 Euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields)