Czech success seeks funding to fulfil eastern promise
The Czech Republic’s PPF Group, which owns Home Credit and insurer Ceska Pojistovna, has managed to achieve top three positions in all of its countries of operation and with limited need for international financing. Now, the previously inwardly focused group has finally begun to let outsiders in. Kathryn Wells reports.
The Czech Republic’s PPF Group was facing a problem: as a financial services group run by the richest, and possibly the most secretive, man in the country, Petr Kellner, it has traditionally had no need to attract investors; but while one of its core businesses – consumer finance – is a highly profitable operation, it also needs financing on a level that requires it to deal more widely and openly with the market.
This has led the group to a reassessment of its position and to a gradual opening up to outsiders, be they ratings analysts, investors or the media.
The PPF Group is the country’s largest private financial group, with assets of more than Kc200 billion ($8.2 billion). It manages property in excess of Kc200 billion and owns a 14% stake in Central European Media Enterprises, which is the majority shareholder in Czech TV station TV Nova and seven other regional stations.
As well as owning Ceska Pojistovna, the country’s largest insurance company with a 39% market share, it is a leading provider of consumer finance through its Home Credit operations in both the Czech Republic and beyond, claiming more than 6.6