Whenever there was talk of new state holdings in large companies during the Corona crisis, Commerzbank was always cited as a dissuasive example. During the financial crisis of 2009, the federal government had to partially nationalize the house of money; since then he has been trapped in participation. While in the case of Lufthansa, the state is already selling shares it bought back during the Corona period, Berlin still owns 15.6% of Commerzbank.
More recently, the bank’s politicians had become unusually involved and even pushed for a leadership swap, but now they seem to be stepping back: financial investor Cerberus, who already owns five percent of the bank, is there. interested, according to a report. by Handelsblatt for the purchase of the state’s stake in Commerzbank. The American investor could imagine resuming the participation of the federal government after the federal election. Cerberus Germany boss David Knower had previously signaled Berlin to consider acquiring the state stake.
Whether this happens will also depend on how the corona situation and the economy evolves over the next few months and the price charged by the federal government. Who will be in government in the future should also play an important role. The CDU as well as the FDP and the Greens in particular are open to the sale of the share, even if the taxpayers would of course be at a loss. If the state wanted to end its involvement without losses, a rate of 26 euros would be necessary. The papers are currently trading at 5.62 euros. It is also questionable whether Cerberus has serious buying intentions.
The financial investor, who, along with the federal government, pushed for a change in the bank’s strategy in 2020, has now largely lost interest – a takeover is therefore rather unlikely, according to financial circles. Cerberus had invested five percent in Commerzbank four years ago, at the time the price was still around 14 euros.
It should be noted, however, that the federal government is no longer clearly behind Commerzbank as usual. A year ago, it was said that they were at the origin of Commerzbank’s commitment, which is at the heart of SME financing. The Ministry of Finance has just announced that an inter-ministerial steering committee will decide in due course how the participation of the financial market stabilization fund in Commerzbank will be treated. In any case, the news was well received on the stock exchange, after all, state holdings are generally considered to be at a disadvantage: Commerzbank shares have sometimes risen by four percent.