Commerzbank Board Approves Sale of $7.5 Billion in Shares to Repay Loans

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Commerzbank AG

As reported by Bloomberg’s Aaron Kirchfeld and Sheenagh Matthews:

Commerzbank AG (CBK), Germany’s second- biggest bank, plans to raise about 5.3 billion euros ($7.5 billion) selling new shares to help repay state aid.

Commerzbank will sell 2.44 billion new shares at 2.18 euros apiece, the Frankfurt-based bank said today in a statement. Shareholders will be allowed to subscribe to 10 new shares for every 11 already held from May 24 to June 6, the company said. New shares are expected to trade on June 7.

Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing announced plans in April to repay about 14.3 billion euros by June through the sale of new shares and use of excess reserves. Commerzbank received more than 18 billion euros from the German government after agreeing to acquire unprofitable competitor Dresdner Bank two weeks before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Commerzbank shares rose 0.7 percent to 3.95 euros in Frankfurt trading on May 20. The stock has fallen 29 percent so far this year, compared with larger German rival Deutsche Bank AG’s 6.1 percent gain, hurt by the dilution from the capital increase and its exposure to sovereign debt, Merck Finck & Co. analyst Konrad Becker said on May 16.

Commerzbank has said it is seeking to raise a total of 11 billion euros, with 8.25 billion euros coming from investors and 2.75 billion euros from Germany’s bank-rescue fund Soffin, which will maintain its stake of 25 percent plus one share in the company. Soffin will spend about 1.3 billion euros on new shares, Commerzbank said today.

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