Deutsche Bank reportedly discussing Commerzbank merger with top investors

Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner is speaking with top shareholders about a potential merger with rival Commerzbank, Bloomberg reported.

Achleitner has also discussed a possible merger with key German officials in recent months. There have been no formal talks between the two German lenders, and a deal is not considered to be imminent, sources told Bloomberg.

Deutsche Bank’s share prices, which have declined 39 percent this year, represent a major obstacle for a potential deal. Investors have reportedly expressed concern that a merger with Commerzbank could trigger a capital increase and hefty write-downs. Any synergies generated from cutting retail outlets in the German market would likely be met with resistance from labor unions due to extensive job cuts, according to Bloomberg.

“The Chairman is asked constantly … about this matter. His answer is always the same: ‘All the pro and contra arguments can be read in analyst reports and the media. So what do you think?’ He sees no reason to actively raise this issue,” a Deutsche Bank spokesperson said in response to a request for comment from CNBC.

Speculation about a merger has mounted since private equity firm Cerberus Capital built a stake in both banks last year. Achleitner has struggled to maintain investor confidence amid a restructuring plan that involved reducing staff by about 7,000 in an attempt to return to profitability.

Commerzbank did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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