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Investa Bank to push ahead with Deutsche Bank México acquisition

Investa Bank SA Institución de Banca Múltiple is back on track with its plan of acquiring Deutsche Bank México SA Institución de Banca Múltiple after a criminal investigation into a partner did not lead to any action against the bank, Chairman Enrique Vilatela told El Economista.

Carlos Djemal, a major Investa Bank shareholder, was arrested in the U.S. in November 2016 for alleged involvement in a money laundering scheme. Investa Bank has since been cleared of any wrongdoing. "We had to sidetrack and prove that we are clean, that we had nothing to do with the accusations and capitalize the bank," Vilatela said in an interview, adding that Djemal, who was one of Investa Bank's buyers in 2014, has sold all his shares in the bank.

The arrest happened days after Deutsche Bank AG announced it was selling Deutsche Bank México and Deutsche Securities SA de CV Casa de Bolsa to Investa Bank.

Speaking to El Economista, Vilatela said that despite this situation, both the German banking group and his bank were still on course. The executive said 360 million Mexican pesos has already been injected into Investa Bank in March to prepare for the acquisition, and hopes that a $150 million capital injection will take place in April. The bank will file authorization requests with regulators in the coming weeks, he added.

"That will therefore lead us to closing the deal and having Deutsche Bank fully integrated in the second half-year," Vilatela said.

Deutsche Bank's plan, meanwhile, is a part of a global strategy to rationalize its global footprint, with centralizing its Mexican global markets and corporate and investment banking coverage function in its global hubs.

As of March 27, US$1 was equivalent to 18.88 Mexican pesos.