Deutsche Bank reportedly set to announce merger talks with Commerzbank

The combined workforce of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank is around 140,000. (Reuters)
Updated 17 March 2019
0

Deutsche Bank reportedly set to announce merger talks with Commerzbank

  • Formal disclosure of talks increases the chances of concluding a tie-up between Germany’s two largest banks
  • A merger has long been the subject of speculation

FRANKFURT: Deutsche Bank was set on Sunday to confirm merger talks with fellow German lender Commerzbank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, an indication that efforts to combine the two businesses were gaining pace.
Formal disclosure of talks increases the chances of concluding a tie-up between the nation’s two largest banks.
A merger has long been the subject of speculation and the German government has pushed for it given concerns about the health of Deutsche which has struggled to generate sustainable profits since the 2008 financial crisis. The government holds a stake of more than 15 percent in Commerzbank following a bailout.
Earlier this month a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the management board of Deutsche had agreed to hold talks with Commerzbank on the feasibility of a merger.
“We are going to seriously evaluate a merger,” said a person with knowledge of the matter on Sunday.
“But there is no guarantee that there will be a deal in the end,” the person said.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.
While the banks have not publicly commented on merger talks, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last Monday confirmed that there are negotiations.
On Thursday, the supervisory boards of both banks are scheduled to hold long-planned meetings, four people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The status of merger negotiations is expected to be discussed.
Germany’s Verdi labor union has objected strongly to a possible merger between the two banks, arguing that the merged group would be a more attractive target for a hostile foreign takeover and saying that at least 10,000 jobs are at risk.
The combined workforce of the two banks is around 140,000.


Ghosn sues Nissan and Mitsubishi for breach of contract: report

Updated 42 min 15 sec ago
0

Ghosn sues Nissan and Mitsubishi for breach of contract: report

  • Ghosn is seeking up to $16.8 millions in damages
  • He spent over 100 days jailed in Japan over financial misconduct trials
PARIS: Former auto titan Carlos Ghosn, currently under house arrest in Tokyo, is suing Nissan and Mitsubishi in a Dutch court for “improper termination” of his contract, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
Ghosn is accusing the Japanese manufacturers of breaching his contract as an employee of NMBV, their joint subsidiary based in the Netherlands, and seeking up to $16.8 million in damages, it said.
The big-spending former chief of both Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan is awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.
He was kept behind bars for over 100 days before being granted bail and sacked from all his management roles.
Ghosn is accused of under-reporting millions of dollars in income at Nissan and of using company funds for personal expenses — charges he denies.
His lawyers argue that while Ghosn resigned from Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV), he had not done so from NMBV and “the breach of contract” was unwarranted, Le Figaro said.
Nissan and Mitsubishi argue that Ghosn’s contract was invalid as it would not have been submitted to NMBV’s board, according to the daily.
NMBV had thanked Ghosn after a meeting of his board of directors on March 12, the same day as the announcement of its dissolution.
Ghosn’s spokesperson and his lawyer both declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Le Figaro said the manufacturers were seeking to recover some $8.79 million paid to Ghosn by NMBV between April and November 2018.
Renault announced in early June it was considering taking action against its former boss after it identified $12.36 million of “questionable expenses” linked to Ghosn at RNBV.
The 65-year-old Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November as he stepped off his private jet at Tokyo airport.
His dramatic downfall stunned the business world and laid bare tensions in the alliance between Renault, Nissan and their smaller Japanese partner Mitsubishi.
Ghosn has not been charged in connection with his activities at NMBV.