The Viennese financial group Bawag Group tops the bidder list for Depfa, the former subsidiary of Hypo Real Estate. The Bloomberg news agency reports, referring to informed circles. Kommunalkredit and LBBW are also among the interested parties.
© Bawag / Manfred Sodia
The Depfa owner, the mining bank FMS Wertmanagement, is currently negotiating the final terms of a sale with the Vienna-listed bank Bawag, said people familiar with the transaction. No final agreement has yet been reached. Other bidders could also decide the sales process for themselves.
Depfa was the Irish subsidiary of Hypo Real Estate, which it took over in 2007 for more than five billion euros. When the financial crisis hit the bank in 2008, Depfa was unable to raise short-term funds, which forced Hypo Real Estate to undertake a rescue operation.
The deal would be the biggest takeover for Bawag since SüdwestbankFor Bawag, Depfa (total assets 6.9 billion euros at the end of 2019) would be the largest takeover since Südwestbank, which the Viennese bought in 2017.
The former trade union bank has been looking for suitable takeover targets since going public in the same year and, given the lack of opportunities, had already started paying out capital to shareholders. On Tuesday, Bawag reported that there are currently 360 million euros in excess capital available for purchases.
With Depfa, Bawag would buy a bank that has had extremely low credit risks and a secure wind-down portfolio after years of reducing its balance sheet by FMS. What is attractive about Depfa is its excess capital, which could be released at a later date and is now available at a discount.
Other interested partiesKommunalkredit Austria AG and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg also appeared as interested parties at an earlier stage, the people told Bloomberg. Representatives from FMS and Bawag declined to comment, as did Kommunalkredit and LBBW. (eml)