Allianz and Amundi are both considering deals to take over Deutsche Bank’s asset management unit DWS, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
Germany’s biggest bank is looking at a possible tie-up with Commerzbank, with talks now in their sixth week, increasing speculation about a sale of DWS which could generate funds for Deutsche Bank to finance the merger.
Allianz, which is Germany’s biggest insurer, and the French asset manager mostly owned by Credit Agricole, are separately working with their advisers on a possible deal with DWS, the sources told Reuters.
Deutsche Bank is already in talks with Swiss bank UBS over DWS, four different people said, confirming a Financial Times report of “serious” merger talks, but added these may still end without a deal.
A structure under consideration is for UBS to hive off its asset management business and fold it into DWS, which is mostly owned by Deutsche Bank, one of the sources said.
“Deutsche Bank needs to consolidate DWS, it is dependent on the high and stable earnings contribution of its asset management operation, so any deal needs to be structured to reflect that,” the person said.
The combined UBS and DWS business would have just over 1.4 trillion euros ($1.57 trillion) of assets under management and would make sense because the two are complementary, roughly the same size and would likely still give Deutsche control of a combined venture, another source familiar with DWS said.
Allianz has lined up Barclays to advise on a potential transaction, which could be structured as a merger between Allianz Global Investors and DWS, the people said, while Amundi’s adviser could not immediately be confirmed.
Shares in DWS traded up 1.6 percent to 32.60 euros, the highest levels since its initial public offering a year ago.
Amundi, Allianz, DWS, UBS and Barclays declined to comment.
(Additional reporting by Angelika Gruber in Zurich and Tom Sims in Frankfurt.)