Ellex Raidla has advised Coop Eesti, Estonia’s largest retail group, on its acquisition of shares of Eesti Krediidipank from the Bank of Moscow. Inbank acquired a shareholding simultaneously with Coop Eesti to contribute to the bank’s development as a counsel and financial investor.
The transaction will be done in two stages. In the first stage, Coop Eesti will acquire 60 percent and Inbank 10 percent of Krediidipank. Then the new bank will acquire the joint subsidiary of Coop Eesti and Inbank – Coop Finants – and the joint subsidiary of Eesti Krediidipank and Inbank – Krediidipank Finants – and as a result of this the shareholdings in the new bank will be distributed 55 percent to Coop Eesti and 25 percent to Inbank. The aim of Coop and Inbank is to also buy out the remaining 20% of the minority shareholders of Krediidipank and include an additional financial investor to the transaction during 2017. Starting in Autumn 2017 the new bank will be called Coop Pank.
According to Coop manager Jaanus Vihandi, the aim is to provide everyday banking services in places where major banks have left in recent years. "Coop is Estonia’s biggest, unique associated organization with 80,000 customer owners and nearly 600,000 loyal customers and it consists of 19 associations. It is important for Coop’s customer owners and loyal customers that they do not have to drive tens of kilometers for elementary banking services."
Eesti Krediidipank is one of the oldest credit banks in Estonia and it has operated under the same name since Estonia regained independence. The bank was founded by the former president of the central bank Rein Otsason and Estonian entrepreneurs.
According to Ellex Raidla Partner Raino Paron, in addition to acquiring the shares, an important legal aspect was to advise Coop on acquiring permission from the European Central Bank for gaining control over Krediidipank. In addition to Paron, the firm's team included Senior Attorney Helen Metsar and Attorney Martin Maesalu.