Exclusive: Italy's UniCredit puts possible Commerzbank bid on ice for now - sources
UniCredit had stepped up preparations for a potential takeover of Commerzbank by engaging Lazard and its banker Joerg Asmussen, a former German deputy finance minister, along with JP Morgan, people familiar with the matter said in May. That raised the prospect of a deal that would allow Italy's largest bank by assets to shift its focus away from its struggling domestic market, a key plank of Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Mustier's strategy. But the advisers have had little luck discussing a possible bid with Commerzbank, which is represented by Goldman Sachs and Rothschild, and have been left on stand-by, the sources said. "Commerzbank told UniCredit they need time to think about the best course of action," said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of the matter. The Milan-based lender, which has a market capitalisation of around 24 billion euros ($27.3 billion) compared to Commerzbank's 8 billion euros, already owns HVB, a large German lender based in Munich. But the Italian bank, which has been concentrating on its own turnaround plan, had been awaiting the outcome of merger talks between Commerzbank and its larger Frankfurt neighbour, Deutsche Bank, which unravelled in April.
Story Sourcesuk.finance.yahoo.com finance.yahoo.com in.reuters.com uk.reuters.com uk.reuters.com reuters.com channelnewsasia.com investing.com