November 8, 2017 / 3:21 PM / a year ago

Judge says no evidence of wrongdoing by Deutsche Bank in Postbank suit

The logo of Deutsche Bank is seen at its headquarters ahead of the bank's annual general meeting in Frankfurt, Germany May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - A German appeals court said on Wednesday it had not seen evidence to suggest Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) acted illegally in concert with another party during the lender’s takeover of Postbank, as alleged by a former Postbank shareholder.

A final ruling is set for Dec. 13.

Former Postbank shareholder Effecten-Spiegel alleged Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE), Postbank’s two largest shareholders in 2008 when the takeover began, illegally acted in concert to the detriment of smaller shareholders.

At a hearing on Wednesday, judge Christoph Wurm said the Cologne appeals court hadn’t seen evidence of such concerted action by Deutsche Bank.

In 2008, Deutsche Bank bought a stake in Postbank of just under 30 percent for 57.25 euros per share. As Deutsche Bank gradually increased its stake over the following years, the financial crisis was in full swing and Deutsche Bank’s offer for remaining shares halved, irking Postbank’s smaller shareholders.

The lawsuit has been bouncing around German courts since 2011.

While lower courts have found no wrongdoing by Deutsche Bank, the Federal Supreme Court said in July 2014 it was possible that Germany’s flagship lender may have acted in concert over the Postbank deal.

At that time, the Supreme Court asked the appeals court to check if that was the case.

Reporting by Andreas Framke; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Mark Potter

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