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Austria's BAWAG PSK buys Germany's Suedwestbank

Austria's BAWAG PSK buys Germany's Suedwestbank
From Reuters - July 17, 2017

VIENNA (Reuters) - BAWAG PSK, the Austrian bank owned by private equity group Cerberus Capital Management, bought German regional lender Suedwestbank for an undisclosed price to expand its network in western Europe, BAWAG said on Monday.

Suedwestbank is majority owned by a holding company for twin brothers Andreas and Thomas Struengmann, billionaires from their sale of generics drugmaker Hexal to Novartis in 2005. It has around 100,000 retail and corporate customers in the prosperous Baden-Wuerttemberg province around Stuttgart.

Suedwestbank has total assets of more than 7 billion euros($8.02 billion) and 650 staff in its 28-branch network that combines traditional lending with asset and wealth management. It made a 2016 operating profit before tax of 79 million euros.

Unlisted BAWAG, Austria's fourth-biggest bank, has more than 2.2 million customers and 40 billion euros in assets. It has said for years it was on the lookout for takeovers -- especially in Austria, Germany and Switzerland -- to expand.

Reuters reported in May that BAWAG planned to buy the German bank.

"The expertise and long-standing tradition of Suedwestbank, which operates in a very strong economic region of Germany, make the bank an ideal partner to help us expand our footprint and customer base," said BAWAG Chief Executive Anas Abuzaakouk.

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