Russia’s Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) said on Thursday it has closed a purchase of the Slovak European Rating Agency (ERA).
The deal was inked on April 20, 2018 by ACRA Director General Ekaterina Trofimova and chairman of ERA’s board of directors Emil Hubinak.
"We closed the deal on April 20. Why are we announcing it only now? Because Slovakia’s regulation has certain specifics of transaction processing and it took some time. We make an announcement somewhat later that the formal signing just to be legally correct. We have closed purchase of the Slovak rating agency," Trofimova said.
ERA has been present on the Slovak market since 2001 and in 2012 was put on the list of EU rating agencies. Now, ERA assigns credit ratings to companies operating on the Slovak market and in a number of other EU countries.
Now, ACRA is the sole stake holder in ERA. "The ERA brand will stay in place. The agency’s owner was an individual, a Slovak national, the one who was chairman of its board of directors - Emil Hubinak. We were negotiating the deal for several months. We have always said we would continue international expansion and development of international activities," Trofimova said, adding that ACRA had considered several possible agencies and ERA had proved to be most interesting in terms of its preparedness for incorporation into ACRA, price and additional investments. ACRA, in her words, is in close contact with ESMA, a European regulator.
ACRA’s strategic plans include optimization of ERA’s structure and making additional investments necessary for its further development. Such investments, according to Trofimova, are needed both in the operational and analytical structures. It is planned to invest from 100,000 to 150,000 euro in a span of 18-24 months.
"We are now auditing the analytical and methodological bases. Initial investments will go to move the office and upgrade IT. The majority of ERA’s staff will stay on their jobs," she said.
ACRA hopes ERA will be maximally autonomous and will operate in its traditional areas.
ERA is a holder of a full-fledged license on the European market and this fact is important for ACRA, Trofimova noted. Apart from that, ERA ratings are used for regulatory purposes. "It is an important reputation asset of the agency. We want to keep in place these regulatory aspects and will focus on proper methodological work in accordance with the latest requirements," she said.
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