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German Banks Explore Multiple Merger

Michael Diekmann, chief executive of German financial services group Allianz, has told shareholders at the group's annual general meeting on 22 May that German banks are ready for consolidation and that there is a realistic chance of M&A deals happening.

“Exploratory discussions are currently taking place,” he said, adding that the discussions were not a stage where anything further could be reported.

Although he would not reveal which banks were in discussions, one potential merger combination could involve Deutsche Postbank together with Commerzbank and the retail business of Dresdner Bank, Germany's second and third largest banks respectively, behind Deutsche Bank.

It is widely reported that Dresdner has held detailed discussions with Commerzbank about making a joint bid for the EUR 10bn ($15.7bn) valued Postbank, which is majority-owned by Deutsche Post with a 30% stake.

Postbank, which went public in 2004, describes itself as one of Germany's major financial services providers, with 14.5 million active domestic customers, approximately 21,000 employees and total assets of EUR 203bn.

Allianz, which acquired Dresdner in 2001, has been openly planning to split Dresdner's investment banking and retail operations, while Commerzbank's shareholders have recently approved the issue of any new shares required for making acquisitions.

Source: Thomson Merger News