WARSAW/FRANKFURT, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Poland’s second-largest lender Pekao currently is the main contender for Commerzbank’s Polish arm mBank as bidders shy away out of fear of political interference, people close to the matter said.
Buyout fund Apollo submitted a first-round bid, but is seen as having low chances against any bid from a Polish bank, the sources said.
Poland’s biggest bank PKO BP has so far not made a bid for mBank, Poland’s fourth-largest lender by assets, in which Commerzbank owns a 69.3% stake, they said, adding that it may still opt to do so at a later stage. Credit Agricole , seen before as a potential contender, has not submitted a bid, sources said.
Commerzbank confirmed that a sales process for mBank has started, adding that it will only sell the asset for an adequate price. PZU, Pekao and PKO declined to comment while Credit Agricole was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Anna Koper, Agnieszka Barteczko, Marcin Goclowski, Maya Nikolaeva, and Tom Sims; Editing by Alan Charlish)