FRANKFURT, July 29 Deutsche Bank's
takeover of Postbank was hit with a fresh regulatory delay on
Wednesday, when Germany's Federal Supreme Court failed to give
final clearance to the deal and instead referred a lawsuit over
its terms to an appeals court.
An investor has sued Deutsche Bank over the price it offered
shareholders in the retail bank, arguing the two banks had
drafted a blueprint of the takeover before the financial crisis
and Deutsche should therefore pay investors the price it paid
for an initial minority stake.
While lower courts found no wrong-doing by Deutsche Bank,
the Supreme Court said it was possible that Germany's flagship
lender may have acted in concert with Postbank, the court said
in a statement on Tuesday.
It has asked the appeals court to check if such acting in
concert took place, in which case Deutsche Bank might have to
offer compensation to investors.
In September 2008, Deutsche Bank bought a Postbank stake of
29.75 percent for 57.25 euros ($76.92) a share.
In January 2009, when the financial crisis had sent stock
prices on a world wide slide, Deutsche Bank upped its stake to
48 percent, triggering a mandatory bid. It ended up offering 25
euros a share to other investors. In several further steps,
Deutsche Bank later bought the remaining shares.
The investor, Effecten-Spiegel, which also produces stock
market reports, accepted the 25 euros per share offer and sold
its 150,000 Postbank shares for 3.75 million euros.
It then sued Deutsche Bank seeking an additional 4.8 million
euros, arguing the steps to take full control of Postbank had
already been planned in 2008 and the banks therefore acted in
concert to carry out the transaction.
($1 = 0.7443 Euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter)