Deutsche Bank in Discussions to Buy Stake in Postbank (Update1)
By Jonathan Browning
Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG, Germany's biggest bank by assets, said it is in advanced discussions with Deutsche Post AG over the potential acquisition of a stake in Deutsche Postbank AG to strengthen its consumer banking business.
``The outcome of these discussions is not yet finalized,'' the bank said late today in a statement on the DGAP newswire.
Ronald Weichert, Deutsche Bank's head of press and media relations in Germany, declined to comment further beyond confirming the statement. Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest postal service, subsequently issued its own statement, also confirming the talks.
Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann said earlier today a takeover of Postbank would make strategic sense to strengthen its consumer banking business.
``There's no doubt that Postbank would fit our strategy, but it depends on the price,'' Ackermann said at a conference in Frankfurt. He declined to say if Deutsche Bank plans to buy Bonn- based Postbank, saying the company remains ``disciplined'' with takeovers.
Buying Postbank would help strengthen Deutsche Bank's position in the German consumer banking market and bolster its distribution network, Ackermann said. Still, a ``major restructuring'' following a large acquisition would be a burden in the current market and economic conditions, he added.
Deutsche Bank fell 97 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 61 euros in Frankfurt trading today, while Postbank rose 4.1 percent to 46.55 euros. Postbank shares have declined about 23 percent since the start of the year, giving the bank a market value of about 7.6 billion euros.
Deutsche Bank is seeking consumer lending acquisitions to offset declining revenue at the securities unit, and Postbank, Germany's largest bank by clients, offers more than 14 million customers.
An acquisition would be the fourth German banking takeover in the past two months. Commerzbank AG's decision to buy Dresdner Bank from Allianz SE for 9.8 billion euros on Aug. 31 enabled Commerzbank to acquire more retail customers than Deutsche Bank's 9.7 million clients, and give it more branches in Germany.
Deutsche Post may decide on a sale of its controlling stake in Postbank at a supervisory board meeting Sept. 12, two people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.
May Buy Less
Deutsche Bank may buy less than 30 percent of Postbank to thwart rival bidders, and possibly make a full acquisition in the future, one person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News yesterday. Such a step would allow Deutsche Bank to avoid making a mandatory takeover and carrying out a capital increase, the person said. Reuters, citing unidentified people in the financial industry, reported today that the companies have agreed in principle on such a deal.
Deutsche Bank plans to buy a stake of 29.75 percent in Postbank and secure an option to acquire the remaining portion of Deutsche Post's majority holding, the Generali-Anzeiger newspaper reported earlier today, citing unidentified people in the financial industry. Deutsche Post owns 50 percent plus one share of Postbank.
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immerhin gibts noch ein zwei banken die kohle für aquis haben