Deals on the cards ?
Reuters reports that UniCredit and Societe Generale declined to comment on a report that Italy’s biggest bank was working with a senior Rothschild banker to advise it on a possible merger with the French bank.
Italian daily MF said in an unsourced report on Friday that talks between the two banks over a tie-up or acquisition were continuing.
It added that UniCredit was working with top-flight consultants, including Rothschild’s Daniel Bouton.
Bouton was a former chairman of Societe Generale, resigning in 2009 after a decade at the head of the French bank.
UniCredit’s CEO Jean Pierre Mustier is also a former manager at Societe Generale.
In the meantime, The Financial Times reports that to many observers in Frankfurt a tie-up between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank is not seen as a question of if, but when.
The prevailing view among the banking cognoscenti in Germany’s financial capital is that the country’s two largest listed lenders are very likely to merge eventually. The common opinion, backed by large investors in Deutsche, is that the bank first has to successfully integrate Postbank and restructure its ailing investment bank division before it can do a deal with Commerzbank.
There are two scenarios, however, that could accelerate the potential merger. One is that Deutsche realises that it is unable to turn itself round under its own steam; the other is that a foreign peer tables a bid for Commerzbank, forcing Deutsche’s chief executive Christian Sewing to make a counter offer.