Deutsche Bank to reap $1.7 billion from asset management IPO

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS set the price for its initial public offering on Thursday at a level which is expected to generate proceeds of about 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for Germany’s largest bank.

The headquarters of the Deutsche Bank's DWS Asset Management is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

The valuation of 32.50 euros per share is less than Deutsche Bank had originally hoped for, but the start of trading for DWS in Frankfurt on Friday will mark a tangible milestone in Chief Executive John Cryan’s struggle to restructure the lender.

The listing of DWS, more than a year in the making, is expected to be one of Germany’s biggest this year and is part of a broader overhaul which Deutsche Bank hopes will move it on from a string of lawsuits and trading scandals.

The IPO was brought forward to lock in the valuation ahead of any further stock market correction.

DWS said on Thursday that 44.5 million shares had been placed with investors, a smaller than expected 22.25 percent of its shares. The placement price gives the asset management business a market capitalization of 6.5 billion euros.

Originally, Deutsche Bank had hoped to generate proceeds of up to 2 billion euros by selling 25 percent of DWS, giving the unit a value of 8 billion euros.

During the listing process, the bank scaled back its expectations but did find big investors, including insurer Nippon Life of Japan and investment company Tikehau Capital. Nippon agreed to acquire a 5 percent stake.

A successful IPO will be a relief for Deutsche, which has been dogged by three years of losses in a row.

The bank’s shares fell sharply on Wednesday after its finance chief warned of headwinds for its investment bank in the first quarter.

But Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke was optimistic about DWS.

“It’s a revenue stream, it’s capital-light, it’s higher margin and it’s higher growth we think than many of our businesses,” von Moltke told an investor conference in London.

($1 = 0.8126 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Tom Sims; Editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith