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Blackstone foundation becomes Luminor Bank’s strategic investor

Photo: luminor.lv.
Blackstone Group L.P investment fund has become the strategic investor for Luminor Bank. This fund’s investment is EUR 1 billion, as reported by the bank.

As part of the deal, Blackstone will purchase 60% of Luminor Bank’s shares and become a majority shareholder alongside Nordea Bank and DNB Bank ASA, which own 20% each. At the same time, Blackstone and Nordea Bank have signed an additional deal on the sale of Nordea’s 20% of shares in Luminor Bank in the next twelve months.

It is planned to follow up on this deal in the first half of 2019, after receiving approval from European Central Bank and local supervisory institutions.

Luminor Group council chairman Nils Melngailis said that Blackstone is the world’s leading partner in the management of transformation of large companies.

According to him, Blackstone’s participation will ensure gradual growth for the bank, as well as introduce world standards and knowledge in customer service to accomplish Luminor’s goal – become an independent financial services group in the Baltic region.

Melngailis also mentioned that this deal represents the entry of a major investment player to the region. «This is proof and a strong signal for stable economic growth and beneficial investment environment in Baltic States. As the biggest private capital deal of recent years in in Baltic States, Blackstone’s decision to invest in Luminor proves that our chosen strategic direction is correct. Luminor’s long-term plan is becoming a business registered with the stock market,» he said.

Luminor Group manager Erkki Raasuke stresses that customer service will remain a priority for the bank. On top of that, the new strategic investor will also provide many advantages for clients and Luminor team over the course of the next year.

«There is no other local financial service provider with an independent management that provides service in all Baltic States. Our cooperation with Blackstone will help strengthen this position is secure Luminor the necessary capital for investments to help develop digital offers and expand the assortment of products and services,» he said.

Raasuke also added that Blackstone has an international reputation for hiring people talented in business.

Blackstone senior CEO Nadim El Gabbani says this is an exciting opportunity to invest in a company that is active on an attractive market. «We believe Luminor has a good position to continue being a truly independent financial service provider and the leading player on the market. We are happy to cooperate with the management of Nordea Bank and DNB and we hope to continue this cooperation to form a stronger platform for future growth,» he said.

At the beginning of October 2017, Nordea Bank and DNB decided to combine their business activities in Baltic States by founding Luminor Bank. In Latvia, Nordea Bank’s office in the country handed over assets to DNB Bank, which later changed its name to Luminor Bank. Asset-wise, this bank was the second largest bank in Latvia at the end of June.

In March 2018, Luminor Bank branches in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia signed a merge deal. The cross-border merge provides that Luminor Bank offices working in Latvia and Lithuania will join the Estonian branch. After the deal, Estonian Luminor Bank will work in Latvia and Lithuania through branch offices.


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