Commerzbank hires Goldman Sachs as an advisor for possible takeover bids

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Commerzbank bikes
CommerzBank branded
bikes.

Reuters

  • Germany’s second-largest lender has hired advisers to
    prepare for possible takeover bids.
  • Both Goldman Sachs and Rothschild are advising the
    lender, which has a market capitalisation of €14
    billion.
  • Any deal for Commerzbank would be the biggest for a
    German bank since before the financial crisis.

LONDON — Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank by assets,
has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser as it prepares for takeover
bids, according to reports.


The Financial Times reports that Goldman
and investment bank
Rothschild have been hired by the Frankfurt-headquartered
Commerzbank to prepare for numerous possible merger scenarios.
They are “not strictly preparing a defence strategy against a
takeover bid,” according to the report.

M&A in the financial services sector in Europe has been
subdued since the financial crisis, and any deal for Commerzbank
— which has a market capitalisation of around €14 billion (£12.5
billion; $16.5 billion) and total assets worth around $506
billion (€430 billion; £384 billion) — would represent the
biggest banking deal in Germany in more than 10 years.

Banks around Europe — including Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit,
and French giants BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole — are thought
to be among potential bidders for the bank, which deals with a
substantial chunk of banking business for Germany’s so-called
“Mittelstand.”

The Mittelstand is the collective name given to small and
medium-sized businesses in Germany, which form the backbone of
the country’s economy.

Any potential takeover may be complicated by the fact that
Commerzbank is still part-owned by the German government, and any
deal would, therefore, need government approval.

Last year, “top executives at Commerzbank and bellwether Deutsche
Bank held unsuccessful talks on a combination,”
Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday.

Commerzbank, Goldman Sachs, and Rothschild declined to comment on
the reports.

Shares in the bank have jumped on the reports. At just after
12.00 p.m. BST (7.00 a.m. ET), the company’s
stock is more than 3.7% higher at €11.88 per share
, as the
chart below shows:coMarkets Insider



You can read the Financial Times’ full story here.

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