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European Commission and NLB

10.8. 2018 – The European Commission has concluded that Slovenia’s aid for Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) remains compatible with EU State aid rules on the basis of a new commitment package submitted by the Slovenian authorities on 13 July 2018. Slovenia has firmly committed to an ambitious time schedule for NLB’s sale with a first sale tranche of at least 50% plus one share by the end of 2018. Slovenia prolonged key commitments and also offered new commitments to compensate for the delayed sale and restructuring process of NLB. The Commission opened an in-depth State aid investigation on 26 January 2018, to assess whether new measures proposed by the Slovenian authorities regarding the restructuring of NLB sufficiently compensated for delaying the bank’s sale. In particular, the Commission was concerned that Slovenia had not sold a first tranche of NLB before the end of 2017, in line with the commitments originally proposed by Slovenia to ensure NLB’s long-term viability. The sale of NLB was a crucial element of the Commission’s viability assessment in the NLB State aid decision of December 2013, allowing the Commission to approve the granting of significant State aid of up to €2.32 billion to NLB. Slovenia committed in 2013 and again in 2017 to this sale to ensure that it would no longer unduly influence NLB’s daily business operations. A change in ownership will allow the bank – at all its levels – to operate solely for commercial objectives. The Commission can exceptionally accept modifications to existing State aid commitments if the new commitments are equivalent to the original ones. In the case at hand, the new commitments should ensure NLB’s viability to the same extent as the original commitments and address any additional competition distortions resulting from the delayed sale. Slovenia first notified amended commitments to the Commission in December 2017. In its opening Decision of 26 January 2018, the Commission doubted whether these amended commitments were equivalent to the original ones. On 13 July 2018, Slovenia submitted another amendment commitment package, now with an ambitious schedule to sell NLB. More: here

Source: EC Press

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