Commerzbank AG's strategy review includes options other than organic growth, CEO Martin Zielke said at the bank's May 22 annual general meeting, opening the door for another potential deal following the collapse of merger talks with German peer Deutsche Bank AG in April, Bloomberg News reported.
Other European banks, including ING Groep NV and UniCredit SpA, are reportedly interested in Commerzbank. Unnamed sources told Reuters earlier in May that UniCredit has hired Lazard and its banker Jörg Asmussen, along with JPMorgan, to advise it on a potential deal with the German lender, while insiders told Bloomberg that ING is working informally with Perella Weinberg Partners for a possible rival bid.
Zielke confirmed that he met with ING CEO Ralph Hamers twice in the past year but added that there were no concrete proposals to begin talks, according to the May 22 report.
Commerzbank could also decide to acquire a smaller German bank, having shown interest in bidding for regional lender Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Bloomberg noted.
Commerzbank is expected to unveil the results of its strategy review in the autumn, the report added.