Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) executives decided to pursue a sale of asset-management units after they were satisfied with early interest in the business, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
More than two dozen bidders, including banks, private- equity firms and asset managers, handed in preliminary offers last week, said the people, who declined to be identified because talks are private. Some bidders valued all of the assets between 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) and 2.5 billion euros, while others made offers for pieces of the business, the people said. A selected group of potential buyers will be asked to submit second-round bids in February, one person said.
Deutsche Bank, the biggest in Germany, announced a strategic review in November of its global asset management division, excluding operations of the DWS mutual fund unit in Germany, Europe and Asia. Chief Executive OfficerJosef Ackermann, who’s leaving in May, built up the asset management and consumer banking units to temper the company’s reliance on investment banking.
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Christian Streckert, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, declined to comment. Deutsche Bank’s management board opted for a sale at a meeting Jan. 10, though could still decide later in the process not to sell, one person said.
The German lender would prefer to sell the businesses as a whole, though it will also consider bids for parts, the person said. Among the assets for sale are the U.S. portion of DWS mutual funds; RREEF alternative investments; DB Advisors, which works for pension and sovereign wealth funds and endowments; and Deutsche Insurance Asset Management for insurers.
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