Are you sure?

Germany: Deutsche Bank seeks minority Postbank stake – report

Deutsche Bank is only interested in a minority stake in Postbank, which mail and logistics group Deutsche Post is seeking to sell, Germany’s business daily Handelsblatt wrote on Saturday ahead of publication on Sept. 8.

Citing financial market sources, the paper said Germany’s leading bank was looking at a possible shareholding below 30%, which would free it from having to make existing shareholders a takeover offer.

Deutsche Bank’s CEO Josef Ackermann and Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel had been talking about this but had not made a decision, the paper said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment on the report but reiterated earlier Ackermann statements that Deutsche was interested in acquisitions only if they created value for its shareholders.

On Friday, Postbank shares rose sharply by up to 2.2% to €43.28 in response to market talk of a possible Deutsche Bank takeover bid at €50 per share. International banks are also reportedly interested. Weekend media reports said Deutsche Post was lowering its price expectations for the 50.1% majority stake in Postbank.

A report in business weekly Wirtschaftswoche due for publication on Sept. 8 cited sources close to the Berlin finance ministry as saying the price idea ranged between €8.5 and 9.5 billion after it had previously been in excess of €10 billion. Spokespersons for Deutsche Post and the federal finance ministry declined to comment on the report. The sales process had largely slowed down after the Post supervisory board initially declined to accept a lower price. Wirtschaftswoche said there might be a decision at the next supervisory meeting scheduled for Sept 12.

Politicians from inside both the government and the opposition were cited by the Berlin Sunday paper Tagesspiegel am Sonntag ahead of publication on Sept. 7 as recommending a delay. “If I was the Postbank head, I would wait a few years until the bank is worth more again on the stock exchange,” said the finance spokesman of the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Otto Bernhardt.

He said unlike in the case of Dresdner Bank, which its rival Commerzbank announced on Aug. 31 it was buying, there was no time pressure in this case. The opposition Green Party’s finance spokesman Gerhard Schick said, “There must not be a (Postbank) sale at any price.” (Reuters)