Hamburg Commercial Bank, the only state-backed German lender sold into private ownership, is planning an acquisition spree as the pressure on the country’s fragmented banking sector to consolidate intensifies.

“I firmly believe that consolidation among German banks will become a more pressing topic in the near future,” chief executive Stefan Ermisch told the Financial Times. “This will provide plenty of opportunity” for the bank, which has amassed a war chest of some €2bn.

Although Ermisch declined to discuss potential targets, he said that smaller specialised lenders who focus on leasing could be of interest.

The ambition marks a remarkable turnround for Hamburg Commercial, which in 2018, when it was then named HSH Nordbank, was sold to a consortium led by US private equity groups Cerberus and JC Flowers. The buyout firms bought the lender for €1bn from the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, which in 2009 rescued the bank from insolvency in a €13bn bailout.


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Source: Financial Times

By Olaf Storbeck