(Rewrites first paragraph, adds background)
* BNP Paribas agreed to buy Polish Rabobank unit, Bank BGZ
* Deal values BGZ at 4.2 billion zlotys
* BNP needs Polish regulator's approval
(Adds background, details)
WARSAW, Dec 5 France's BNP Paribas
agreed to buy its Dutch rival Rabobank's Polish unit
Bank BGZ, in a deal which values the target at 4.2
billion zlotys ($1.4 billion) and is the latest example of
consolidation among Polish banks.
The deal offers a 14 percent premium to the market value of
BGZ, a rural-based Polish lender which ranks No.11 by assets,
and could forge a player ranking No.8 in the local sector.
It comes after Poland's top lender PKO bought the
Polish units of Sweden's Nordea's for 694 million euros
Poland's banking industry is undergoing a period of change,
with some troubled foreign banks selling businesses there to
boost their capital positions, but others being keen to
strengthen their foothold in an economy which has outperformed
much of the euro zone in recent years.
Rabobank, the biggest Dutch retail bank, was recently fined
$1 billion over its involvement in the Libor rigging scandal and
did not officially put BGZ up for sale. But BNP, Italy's
UniCredit and Spain's Banco Santander had all
expressed interest in the unit.
Rabobank, which had a net profit of 2.1 billion euros in
2012, has announced sweeping cost cuts and the sale of non-core
assets such as its fund manager Robeco and private Swiss bank
Sarasin to raise money and shore up its capital
BNP, which will buy 98.5 percent of BGZ, has said it is
looking to expand into faster-growing markets and buying BGZ
could yield benefits from integrating it with the group's
existing Polish business.
"The acquisition of Bank BGZ constitutes a major step
towards attaining a critical size in Poland," BNP Paribas CEO
Jean-Laurent Bonnafe was quoted as saying in a Rabobank
"The transaction will establish the BNP Paribas Group as a
reference player in Poland's banking sector."
The transaction is pending regulatory approval. The local
financial watchdog KNF has said the Polish banking sector's
concentration level is close to optimum.
"They need to ask for the permission," KNF spokesman Lukasz
($1 = 3.0976 Polish zlotys)
($1 = 0.7377 euros)
(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Adrian Krajewski and