BRUSSELS Feb 21 Germany's financial regulator
Bafin has given approval for RHJ International's (RHJI)
planned purchase of Deutsche Bank's BHF
Bank more than two years after the two first entered exclusive
talks, RHJI said on Friday.
Kleinwort Benson Group (KBG), a subsidiary of Belgian-listed
holding company RHJI, will buy BHF for an estimated 354 million
euros ($485.4 million).
RHJI announced exclusive talks to buy BHF from Deutsche Bank
in June 2011, only to see Bafin refuse the deal, citing concerns
about BHF's ability to withstand a crisis on its own.
The saga has raised questions about how open Bafin is to
foreign bank takeover offers.
RHJI beefed up its offer in September 2012 by bringing in
KBG will acquire 91 percent of BHF for 322 million euros and
RHJI will take the remaining 9 percent stake by issuing its own
shares to Deutsche Bank.
RHJI will retain a 65 percent stake in KBG, with a group of
co-investors made up of China's Fosun Group, BMW heir
Stefan Quandt and funds controlled by U.S. investor and RHJI
board member Timothy Collins holding the other 35 percent.
The acquisition will merge BHF, strong in private banking,
asset management and corporate banking to Germany's mid-sized
companies, with KBG, a wealth and asset management specialist.
The combined group will have a sizeable presence in both Britain
Deutsche Bank had been seeking a buyer for BHF, which it
inherited in a 1 billion euro purchase of Sal. Oppenheim in
The regulator also scotched Deutsche Bank's initial plan to
sell BHF to LGT, a bank owned by the royal family of
the Alpine principality of Liechtenstein.
($1 = 0.7293 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Holmes)