European Bank for Reconstruction and Development establishes the groundwork to become a core shareholder of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA
On 17 March the signing of two share purchase agreements between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has paved the way for a change in the composition of the core shareholder base of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA (ProCredit Holding).
Under the purchase agreements, EBRD will purchase from IFC 9.9 per cent of the shares in ProCredit General Partner AG, the sole general partner of ProCredit Holding, and IFCs remaining stock of 5.06 per cent in ProCredit Holding.
Upon completion of the transaction, EBRD will replace IFC as a core shareholder of Pro Credit Holding and hold 8.7 per cent of its share capital. Completion of the share purchase is subject to fulfilment of conditions precedent including receipt of regulatory approvals where applicable.
By becoming a core shareholder, EBRD intends to support ProCredit Holding in its transformation into a stock company under German law (Aktiengesellschaft) while maintaining its impact orientation. EBRD also plans to support ProCredit Holding in its strategy and governance to collaborate with ProCredit Holding in further developing its activities to counter climate change and in aligning its business and financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
EBRD’s entry into the circle of core shareholders thus further reinforces ProCredit group’s approach to business, particularly its commitment to being impact-oriented and to providing responsible banking services with a focus on South-Eastern and Eastern Europe.
Hubert Spechtenhauser, Chair of the Management Board of ProCredit General Partner AG, commented: “We are very pleased that we will soon be able to welcome the EBRD, which has accompanied us for many years as a funding partner and since 2018 also as a shareholder, to join the circle of our core shareholders and strategic investors.
We are united by a passion for South-Eastern and Eastern Europe and for the SMEs that contribute to the development of the economies in the region, as well as by the conviction that economic development should be climate-friendly and sustainable. The EBRD’s decision to support our further institutional development while maintaining our impact orientation as a core shareholder sends a strong positive signal to the entire ProCredit group.Today also presents an opportunity to thank IFC for supporting the development of the group as a core shareholder since the early days and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
Francis Malige, Managing Director of the EBRD’s Financial Institutions Group, said: “ProCredit is one of our most valued partners in supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises across 10 countries of our operations in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Together we have provided more than 1€ billion in financing to local businesses, the key creators of jobs in most economies, to help improve their access to finance. With this transaction we mark another important milestone in the history of ProCredit, a bank which has SMEs in its DNA. We look forward to doing even more together for a greener, more resilient SME sector in our regions.”
“ProCredit’s successful growth and the impact it has had on its clients over the past two decades is a testament to its focused strategy and the tenacity of its management team,” said Tomasz Telma, Global Director at the IFC’s Financial Institutions Group. “Since the founding of its first banks in 1998, ProCredit Holding has transformed into a regulated SME-focused banking group listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, growing its SME operations across 12 countries. We look forward to seeing ProCredit continue providing its impactful services to SMEs across the region.”
The other core shareholders of the group are Zeitinger Invest, DOEN Participaties, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and ProCredit Staff Invest.