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‘Unicredit moving in on Commerzbank’
Posted on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:41
Italian bank Unicredit is closing in on a potential acquisition of German peer Commerzbank, according to Reuters.

Citing three people with knowledge of the matter, the news provider said the Milan-headquartered firm has appointed investment bankers to advise on the process.

Reuters noted that Unicredit has been interested in expanding in Germany for some time, adding that this would enable the group to pivot away from the Italian market, where it is struggling, although it cautioned that it is not clear if or when a deal will take place.

For its part, the prospective acquiror has said that no banking mandate had been signed in relation to a potential market operation.

Unicredit was first linked with a bid for Commerzbank back in September 2017, when two people in the know told Reuters the company was interested in eventually merging with its German peer.

Since then, UBS and ING Groep have also been linked with approaches for the firm, while Commerzbank was in negotiations with Deutsche Bank until late April, when talks were discontinued, with both parties saying a combination would not be in the best interests of shareholders.

Commerzbank describes itself as a leading international commercial bank with around 1,000 branches and offices in nearly 50 countries.

The company’s customer base numbers more than 18.00 million private and small business clients, as well as over 70,000 corporate clients, multinationals, financial service providers and institutional clients.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, the most valuable of the 757 deals targeting commercial banking companies to have been announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019 is worth USD 28.09 billion.

This transaction involved BB&T agreeing to pick up SunTrust Banks back in February.

The second-placed deal was considerably smaller as Kuwait Finance House signed on the dotted line to pay USD 6.72 billion for Ahli United Bank on 24th January.

© Zephus Ltd