Exclusive: Deutsche Bank moves closer to settling Kirch dispute

Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:39pm EST
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By Philipp Halstrick

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) is close to a 900 million euro deal to settle a dispute with the heirs of late media mogul Leo Kirch, a move that would end an acrimonious courtroom battle that has dogged German's largest bank for more than a decade.

The top committee on the Deutsche Bank's supervisory board has discussed an out-of-court settlement that has been largely concluded with Kirch representatives, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, in a sign that a final deal was near.

The proposed settlement would cost Deutsche Bank around 900 million euros ($1.24 billion), two sources familiar with the discussions said.

"A settlement is largely negotiated," said one.

Deutsche Bank and a spokesman for the Kirch family declined to comment.

Any deal with Kirch would shorten the long list of legal liabilities and investigations facing Deutsche Bank, many of them stemming from the financial crisis.

Co-Chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen are trying to shorten the list of scandals and claims in 2014 as they reshape the bank to meet more-stringent regulatory demands and tougher markets that followed the crisis.

The supervisory board has discussed proposals to settle the Kirch suit on several occasions in the past. None of those led to an agreed deal.   Continued...

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor