After the mergers of domestic in South Europe, the european banks are ripe for transnational operations ? Directed by the French Jean-Pierre Mustier, a former Société Générale), the first Italian bank, UniCredit, would have contacted the German government, the largest shareholder of Commerzbank with a 15.6% of the share capital, with a view to a merger, according to Reuters news agency.
“UniCredit has been in contact with the German Finance ministry,” said a source close to the dossier cited by the agency.
“We have always said that the government did not want to keep eternally his participation and wanted to lead to a good result for the taxpayer,” said to Reuters a spokesman for the German Finance ministry, who did not wish to comment on the information.
No comment also in UniCredit and Commerzbank.
Other banking groups have also expressed their interest for Commerzbank with the government of Angela Merkel, according to Reuters.
UniCredit three times larger
The project, which would be at a preliminary stage, would likely be a merger by exchange of shares. UniCredit is currently in Stock three times, with 39 billion euros (as much as Society in General for comparison) compared with 13 billion euros to Commerzbank. In terms of assets, the Italian has risen to the 12th highest in europe (with 908 billion euros), far ahead of germany (24th with 507 billion euros).
The bank’s frankfurt gets hard : it leads to a broader restructuring in the framework of its plan Commerzbank 4.0, which resulted in a heavy loss of 637 million euros in the second quarter. The plan for accelerated scanning of the internal processes is accompanied by the removal of 9.600 jobs. Since his return to the commands of UniCredit in July 2016, Jean-Pierre Mustier has conducted drum beating a strategic plan drastic, Transform, 2019, including a reduction of 11% of the workforce, a cleaning of the balance sheet, including bad debt, and a recapitalization (the $ 13 billion raised on the markets last march). He was elected “banker of the year 2017” by Euromoney magazine.
The Italian group, which presents itself as a universal bank, pan-european, is present in 18 countries, including Germany, through Hypovereinsbank, which was acquired in 2005. He claims 25 million customers. It would be quite complementary to the German bank, which is financing SME exporters in the Mittelstand and their international trade. Commerzbank has suffered from the economic crisis in the maritime sector, which has expanded its stock of bad debts and in the context of low interest rates.