January 13, 2020 / 1:38 PM / 16 days ago

Aareal Bank open to Aareon unit sale in medium term: source

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German real estate lender Aareal Bank (ARLG.DE) is open to selling its software business Aareon in the medium-term, a person close to the bank said on Monday, but will resist an activist investor’s call for an immediate divestiture.

“Aareon is set to significantly speed up its growth momentum in the years to come, and develop a strong independent value proposition as a software company with a standalone market position,” Aareal said in a statement.

Aareon’s strategy is designed to double results over the medium term, by expanding its digital business as well as through acquisitions, it added.

“It is also clear that we are prepared to embark upon a new path should circumstances necessitate it”, Chief Executive Hermann Merkens said.

Aareal evaluated options for Aareon following pressure from activist investor Teleios, but in November decided against a majority sale.

Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editinng by Thomas Seythal

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