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Commerzbank shares rise on report UniCredit plans to make a rival bid if Deutsche talks fail

Key Points
  • A report says UniCredit is prepared to make a multibillion-euro offer for a sizable stake in Commerzbank.
  • Commerzbank would reportedly be merged with German Unicredit subsidiary HypoVereinsbank.
  • Shares of Commerzbank were up around 3 percent in morning trade on the back of the news.
Picture taken on March 17, 2019 shows the headquarters of German banks Deutsche Bank (L) and Commerzbank in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.
FRANK RUMPENHORST | DPA | Getty Images

Commerzbank shares rose following a report that UniCredit stands ready to make a rival bid for the bank if merger talks with fellow German lender Deutsche Bank fail.

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Thursday that the Italian bank was prepared to make a multibillion-euro offer for a sizable stake in Commerzbank.

Commerzbank would be merged with German Unicredit subsidiary HypoVereinsbank, the FT reported, and the combined entity would be based in Germany while UniCredit maintains its headquarters and listing in Milan.

Shares of Commerzbank were up around 3 percent in morning trade on the back of the news.

Commerzbank and UniCredit declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

While the German government's stance on this remains unclear, it has been speculated that a Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank tie-up would be seen as favorable as it would create a domestic banking champion. A deal with UniCredit would mean a foreign lender taking control of Germany's second-largest bank.

Commerzbank's executive board is reportedly set to decide whether to intensify discussions with Deutsche Bank — or back away from a deal — on April 9.

You can read the full Financial Times report here.