UniCredit drops bid for Russian bank over Ukraine tensions

January 28, 2022 GMT

MILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit has decided not to pursue a possible takeover bid for Russian bank Otkritie due to rising tensions over Ukraine, the bank’s CEO said Friday.

UniCredit had started due diligence on an offer, but “given the geopolitical environment, we decided to withdraw,” Andrea Orcel said in a media call.

UniCredit operates the AO UniCredit Bank in Russia, the 12th bank in the country with 70 branches and 400 employees.

“We are generally happy with it, and committed to it,” Orcel said, saying it represents less than 5% of the bank’s equity activities.

Orcel was on the list of attendees for a video conference of Italian business leaders and Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss business opportunities. The bank would not confirm if he participated.