N.Y. state board OKs acquisition

Deutsche Bank's merger with Bankers Trust has one major hurdle to go

Banking

May 07, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- Deutsche Bank AG's $10.1 billion acquisition of Bankers Trust Corp. was approved by the New York State Banking Board yesterday, leaving approval by the Federal Reserve as the last major hurdle to the creation of what will be the world's largest financial-services company.

The banks expect to complete the transaction by the end of the quarter.

"The New York State Banking Board's approval marks an important step toward completion of our merger," Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Rolf Breuer and Bankers Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Newman said in a joint statement.

Deutsche Bank will pay $93 a share in cash for Bankers Trust. Bankers Trust shares finished unchanged yesterday at $91.6875.

The acquisition already has the approval of the companies' shareholders and European Union authorities.

On Wednesday, New York City's top financial official, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, said he dropped his opposition to the merger because of the German bank's progress in negotiating to settle Holocaust-related claims.

While Hevesi has no direct say in approving mergers, he and other local financial officials in the U.S. control billions in investments, and have the political power to slow mergers and wring settlements from banks with links to Nazi finance. His threats of sanctions against Swiss banks led to their agreeing to pay $1.25 billion in reparations last year.

Yesterday, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Barbara Hafer said she dropped her opposition to the takeover of Bankers Trust because of progress in negotiations on the creation of a compensation fund for Holocaust survivors.

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