Commerzbank open to mergers as talks with Deutsche Bank collapse
With Deutsche out of the picture, Italy’s UniCredit and Dutch ING Group have expressed interest in Germany’s second-largest listed lender
Wiesbaden — Commerzbank may refine its strategy and is still open to mergers following the collapse of talks with its larger rival Deutsche Bank, the lender’s CEO said on Wednesday. CEO Martin Zielke told shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting that the talks with Deutsche “showed where we should possibly sharpen our strategy. We will be able to say more about this in the autumn.” Earlier in 2019, Zielke embarked on talks to tie up with Deutsche Bank, but the talks collapsed after six weeks, with the banks citing risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands as among the reasons for their decision to walk away. With Deutsche out of the picture, both Italy’s UniCredit and Dutch ING Group have expressed interest in Commerzbank, which is Germany’s second-largest listed lender, sources have said. Zielke, in response to questions from shareholders at the meeting, said the bank was open to growing “inorganically”, which means through mergers and acquisitions.