February 13, 2017 / 8:17 AM / 3 years ago

Chinese takeover of Germany's Postbank unlikely - source

FILE PHOTO: Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group, speaks during an interview in Beijing, China, August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

HONG KONG/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - China’s Dalian Wanda Group has informally approached Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) about buying its Postbank business, but a deal is unlikely to materialise, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Financial Times reported that Wanda, which is owned by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, has set its sights on investments in European banks, including Postbank, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The source told Reuters that there were no formal talks with Wanda about a Postbank transaction with Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Dalian Wanda Group on Monday said it had not contacted Deutsche Postbank about potential acquisition plans. “Wanda and Deutsche Postbank have not been in touch,” it said.

Deutsche Bank, which bought Postbank in several steps from 2008 onwards for 6 billion euros (5 billion pounds), had planned to sell the business to help to shrink its balance sheet.

But the German bank cannot afford to sell it below book value without taking asset writedowns, a factor that has prevented Deutsche Bank from selling it in the past.

The FT report said that the Dalian Wanda’s hunt for financial assets was at an early stage and aimed to diversify its business away from real estate.

Reporting by Clare Jim and Kathrin Jones; Editing by Alexander Ratz and Jane Merriman

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