Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA) CEO Gottwald Kranebitter has
confirmed to Leasing Life his network would be “prepared
to consider offers” from parties interested in buying five of the
group’s leasing subsidiaries.

The recently nationalised Austrian bank,
seeking to cut its balance sheet in line with an EU restructuring
mandate, is trying to find buyers for leasing subsidiaries in
Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany and Ukraine – territories
where the group has no core retail banking infrastructure to fall
back on.

Inside Hypo’s banking territories, leasing
units are considered ‘core’ to the group’s activities, and are
likely to remain.

Bulgaria and Macedonia seem most likely to be
sold, according to comments made by HGAA to local press in May.

“Should the final decision require that Hypo
Group Alpe Adria has to sell its subsidiaries in Macedonia and
Bulgaria,” the bank said, “this will be an orderly process of
identifying a suitable new owner.”

HGAA has six leasing offices in Bulgaria and
two in Macedonia, with 97 and 28 staff respectively. The other
three Hypo leasing businesses facing sale employ a total of 77

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According to Kranebitter, “new business in 2009
was limited” for these latter subsidiaries, which now serve
existing customers almost exclusively.

The most obvious candidates for buying HGAA’s
leasing businesses are other big Central and Eastern European
financial networks, such as Raiffeisen and UniCredit, but it is
understood the businesses for sale contain a high proportion of
non-performing loans.