Oct 22, 2019 04:21 AM

China’s Fosun Studies Bid for German Pudding Tycoons' Private Bank

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

(Bloomberg) ― Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. is among suitors considering bids for Bankhaus Lampe KG, the private bank owned by Germany’s billionaire Oetker family, people familiar with the matter said.

ABN Amro Bank NV and Franco-German financial group Oddo BHF are also weighing offers for the private bank, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the sales process is private. A sale could value the Bielefeld-based firm at 200 million euros ($223 million) or more, one of the people said.

Negative interest rates and clients’ conservatism have made wealth management in Germany a difficult business, prompting Credit Suisse Group AG to sell its German private banking operations to ABN Amro in 2013. Bankhaus Lampe’s controlling shareholder, known for its ownership of the food company that makes “Dr. Oetker” brand pudding mixes and frozen pizzas, has been divesting assets the last few years.

Their holding company sold container shipping line Hamburg Sued to AP Moller-Maersk A/S in 2017 for 3.7 billion euros. KPMG is advising the Oetker family on the potential sale of Bankhaus Lampe, according to the people.

Goldman, Julius Baer

Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty the suitors will proceed with firm offers, the people said. A spokesman for the Oetker family said the group is evaluating options for Bankhaus Lampe including a sale, declining to comment further.

Representatives for ABN Amro, Fosun, KPMG and Oddo BHF declined to comment. German newsletter Platow reported the interest from Oddo BHF and ABN Amro earlier, citing unidentified people.

Shanghai-based Fosun, controlled by billionaire Guo Guangchang, bought German wealth manager Hauck & Aufhaeuser Privatbankiers AG in 2016.

Banks have been taking a fresh crack at Germany, which has a strong entrepreneurial culture and a pool of wealth generated by the midsized family-owned companies that form the backbone of the economy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is adding wealth managers in the country, and Swiss rival Julius Baer Group Ltd. has also been expanding.

Bankhaus Lampe generated 14.9 million euros in profit in 2018, down from 15 million euros a year earlier. Assets under management fell to 19.1 billion euros, from 22.4 billion euros.

The firm was founded in 1852 by Hermann Lampe and became part of the Oetker family’s holdings after World War II. The group is ultimately owned by the eight children of family patriarch Rudolf-August Oetker, who died in 2007.

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