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September 21, 2022

Italy’s UniCredit eyes M&A deals in Germany

Italian banking group UniCredit is eyeing potential acquisitions in Germany in a bid to become a fully developed European bank, Reuters has reported, citing a German business newspaper. 

UniCredit chief Andrea Orcel revealed the bank’s plans in an interview with Handelsblatt.

“A significant increase in our market share in Germany would be good for Unicredit as a whole,” Orcel was quoted by the publication as saying. 

Mergers and acquisitions could drive growth and create added value for the bank under the right conditions, he added. 

Early this year, Orcel arranged a meeting with his counterpart at Commerzbank for the merger of the Italian bank’s German arm HypoVereinsbank.

The merger talks, which did not advance much, were put on hold after Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine in late February. 

“There was no closer communication on this,” Orcel said in response to a question about the talks with Commerzbank.

As per the Financial Times report in May, a merger would have created a €785bn German bank with a network of 1,000 branches and 48,000 employees.

In 2005, Unicredit acquired HypoVereinsbank, which has built a local presence across Bavaria and the Hamburg area.

Meanwhile, the Italian bank launched the second share buyback this year for up to €1bn. 

UniCredit has hired BNP Paribas to carry out the share buyback programme, which is expected to conclude by November end, the news agency said in a separate report. 

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