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SocGen Expands German Footprint With Acquisition

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 5 July 2018

SocGen Expands German Footprint With Acquisition

The bank and its principal rival appear to be intensifying their focus on the eurozone's largest economy.

Societe Generale has agreed to buy the equity markets and commodities business of Germany’s Commerzbank, a move that the French bank said will transform its presence in Germany. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The sold business was described by Paris-listed SocGen this week as a “leading European manufacturer, distributor and market maker of structured and flow products as well as asset management solutions”.

Activities of the business based based in Frankfurt, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Luxembourg and Zurich. The transaction excludes the cash equity brokerage and commodities hedging businesses of Commerzbank, it said.

“The acquisition of these activities from Commerzbank would reinforce the bank’s global leadership in derivatives and investment solutions across asset classes and would contribute to Lyxor’s development in Europe by boosting its ETF franchise and complementing its active management offering with a set-up and a product range well-suited to answer the needs of German institutional clients in particular,” SocGen continued.

With French rival BNP Paribas said to be looking to acquire German businesses and ramp up its wealth management business in the country, SocGen is clearly thinking along similar lines.

The deal complements SocGen’s Lyxor asset management business and its exchange traded fund franchise, Séverin Cabannes, deputy chief executive, said.

“This acquisition would be transformational for our activities in Germany as it would enable Societe Generale to reach a new scale in the leading eurozone economy,” Cabannes said.

The transaction is subject to pre-clearance with competent tax authorities, approval by further relevant authorities and the required steps towards social partners as well as the finalization of legal documentation. SocGen said it expects to win clearance later this year.


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