Polish state-controlled insurance company PZU is eyeing for 25.3% stake in local lender Alior Bank put up for sale by Carlo Tassara, the holding company for French financier Romain Zaleski.
The insurer already holds a 4.5% stake in Alior Bank through its pension fund and investment fund units.
PZU is considering several acquisitions in the country’s banking sector in a bid to build a large new bank.
One investment banker said, confirming a report in newspaper Puls Biznesu: "PZU is in the game … it is true that it wants to build a banking group comprised of smaller banks."
PZU is also looking to take advantage of efforts by two other foreign owners to sell their Polish lenders namely Raiffeisen Polbank and Bank BPH.
A company spokesman confirmed the newspaper: "PZU is ready to take part in acquisitions in the banking sector, guaranteeing their financing."
The insurance company has begun conducting due diligence on increasing its interest in Alior Bank which has assets worth around PLN30.1bn (7.47bn).