ASR Nederland sells online bank Knab to BAWAG Group for over half a billion euros

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Vienna-based BAWAG Group announced that it has acquired Amsterdam-based Knab – a bank for self-employed people, by purchasing 100 per cent of its shares from ASR Nederland N.V. for €510M.

BAWAG Group serves 2.1 million customers across Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Western Europe, and the US. The publicly listed company offers a variety of financial services.

Knab is an online bank specialising in serving the self-employed, with nearly 400,000 customers predominantly in this domain. 

It helps customers to make informed choices for a secure financial future. The firm claims that in 2023, one in three self-employed individuals who opened a business bank account did so with Knab. In the first half of 2023, Knab reported a net profit of €64.5M.

Aim of the acquisition

This move aims to enhance BAWAG Group’s presence in the Dutch Retail and SME banking sector, positioning the bank for future growth in a key market.

Knab, with €17.1B in total assets, mostly in Dutch mortgages, and €11.6B in customer deposits, will continue its operations under the current leadership team, facilitating BAWAG Group’s expansion in the Netherlands.

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Besides the acquisition, there’s an agreement to shift the management of Knab’s mortgage servicing from a.s.r. to BAWAG post-closing. BAWAG will pay an additional €80M to a.s.r. for this arrangement. 

The overall transaction is anticipated to conclude in the second half of 2024.

Anas Abuzaakouk, CEO of BAWAG Group, says, “We are excited about the acquisition of Knab and the many opportunities this presents for the Group. This is a great strategic fit in terms of customers, product offering, market presence and team members.”

“We’re excited to build on the strong Knab brand and look forward to further growing the franchise and expanding on the current offering of current accounts, mortgages, and savings products across a large and diverse customer base.”

“I am excited to welcome the whole team and look forward to the many opportunities ahead,” adds Abuzaakouk.

Brief about a.s.r.

ASR Nederland is the second-largest insurer in the Netherlands, offering insurance, banking, pensions, and mortgage services for consumers, businesses, and employers. a.s.r. is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and is included in the AEX Index.

Speaking on the acquisition, Jos Baeten, CEO of a.s.r. says, “Today’s announcement marks an important step for Knab and a.s.r. as it maximises value for all stakeholders involved. I would like to sincerely thank our colleagues at Knab: the strong interest we received for Knab is a clear testament of their contribution to building the business over the years.”

“BAWAG is a strong European banking partner for Knab, with a robust capital position and extensive banking expertise to enhance the Dutch customer proposition of Knab, as well as opportunities for its employees. a.s.r. will continue to focus on a successful integration of the former Aegon Nederland businesses and becoming a leader in Dutch insurance and the best financial services provider in the Netherlands.”

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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