Santander Polish bank deal approved

Warsaw: Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest bank, won the Polish regulator’s approval to buy a majority stake in Bank Zachodni WBK SA from Allied Irish Banks Plc, paving the way for its 16.6 billion zloty (€4.2bn) bid to acquire 100% of the bank.

Santander’s takeover was approved in a unanimous vote by the Warsaw-based Financial Supervisory Commission, the watchdog said.

AIB in September agreed to sell its 70% stake in Poland’s third-largest lender by market value, after it was ordered to bolster its balance sheet.

Santander is adding Poland to other growth markets such as Brazil as it seeks to become less dependent on the Spanish economy, which is struggling to emerge from recession.

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