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article imageDeutsche Bank gets green light to sell BHF Bank

By AFP     Feb 21, 2014 in Business

The way is clear for Deutsche Bank to sell its BHF-Bank unit to Kleinwort Benson Group after the German financial watchdog said o Friday it had no objections to the deal.

"We have examined the case and found that there are no reasons to block it," a spokesman for the BaFin watchdog told AFP.

Buyers Kleinwort Benson-Group and its owners RHJ International welcomed the development.

"Kleinwort Benson Group Limited and RHJ International are very pleased to announce today that the German financial regulator, BaFin, has confirmed that it has no objections to the proposed acquisition of BHF-Bank," they said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, which is valued at a total 354 million euros ($485 million), Kleinwort Benson-Group will acquire 91 percent of BHF-Bank for 322 million euros in cash.

RHJ International will acquire the remaining 9.0 percent in return for shares.

RHJ International chief executive Leonhard Fischer said "we are delighted by today's announcement and that BaFin has confirmed it has no objections to this strategically important transaction."

BHF's strengths in private banking, asset management, German Mittelstand corporate banking and financial markets were "highly complementary" to KBG's existing strengths in wealth and asset management, he argued.

The Mittelstand refers to the powerful sector of medium-sized companies in Germany.

"The combined company will be well-positioned in two of the largest and fastest growing wealth management markets in western Europe: the UK and Germany."

Deutsche Bank has been seeking to offload BHF-Bank since 2009.

Previous negotiations to sell it to Liechtenstein-based bank LGT ran aground and talks with RHJI began in 2011.

Deutsche Bank announced at the end of 2012 that the two sides had reached a deal and was waiting for approval by BaFin.

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