FRANKFURT (Reuters) - France’s Societe Generale and Spain’s Santander are each mulling a tie-up with Germany’s second-largest lender Commerzbank, German magazine Bilanz reported on Thursday.
A delegation from Societe Generale recently met with representatives from the German government to talk about Berlin’s 17 percent stake in Commerzbank, the report said, without specifying its sources.
Commerzbank, which was bailed out by the government in the financial crisis and has seen its share price plunge more than 90 percent since 2007, has repeatedly been mentioned in the media as a potential takeover target.
The German government currently has no plans to sell its stake, a finance ministry spokeswoman said.
Commerzbank, Societe Generale and Santander declined to comment.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported last month that the government wants to stay invested in Commerzbank until at least 2016 and that finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had already rebuffed several potential suitors.
Other banks mentioned as potential Commerzbank stake buyers - including UniCredit, UBS and BNP Paribas - have said publicly that they were not interested.
The German government has indicated repeatedly that it wants to wait for the Commerzbank share price to recover before it sells its stake.
Chief Executive Martin Blessing said this year that according to some calculations the government could sell its Commerzbank investment without booking a loss if gets a price of 18-19 euros a share.
The shares were up 2.7 percent at 11.72 euros on Thursday at 1218 GMT, outperforming a sector index up 1 percent.
Berlin acquired the Commerzbank stake, which it holds through bank bailout fund Soffin, as part of an 18-billion-euro ($24.5 billion) government bailout in the financial crisis.
Reporting by Arno Schuetze; additional reporting by Andreas Kröner and Sarah White; editing by Jason Neely