ATHENS Shareholders representing a large majority of Greek lender Eurobank EFGr.AT have accepted an all-share buyout offer from larger rival National Bank (NBGr.AT), meaning their merger will go through, a senior NBG official said on Friday.
National Bank made an offer in October to buy Eurobank EFGr.AT to create the country's biggest lender as part of consolidation plans to help the country's banking industry cope with fallout from Greece's debt crisis.
"More than 70 percent of Eurobank shares have accepted the share swap tender offer," the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. The deadline to accept the deal is later on Friday.
NBG, advised by Credit Suisse, is offering 58 new shares for every 100 shares of Eurobank. Their merger will form Greece's biggest banking group in terms of loans, deposits and branch network.
Soon after NBG's offer was launched four months ago, Eurobank said it would consider the merger proposal in a "constructive spirit" and major shareholders representing 44 percent of its stock said they would back it.
Eurobank's board said last month that NBG's offer was fair from a financial point of view. Eurobank is advised by Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs International.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos. Editing by Jane Merriman)