GERMANY - German Commerzbank's acquisition of Dresdner Bank will see the newly-combined group's investment banking activities reduced, but introduce a refocus on German companies.

Allianz and Commerzbank made the announcement in separate statements today, and confirmed the Europe-focused investment bank will be reduced, while "overall the new bank will strengthen its leading position as investment bank for German companies."

A final weekend of talks brokered a deal that could cost 9000 jobs, as Allianz said today as a further strand to the deal it will buy Commzerbank's asset management entity Cominvest.

Stefan Jentzsch, the chief executive of Dresdner Kleinwort, is understood to have announced his departure at the end of the first phase of Commerzbank's €9bn acquisition of Dresdner Bank, as part of the scaling back of investment banking activities in the combined group but a spokeswoman for Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt declined to comment.

German insurer Allianz, which took over Dresdner in 2001, split the bank into two separate units in March, carving out investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort as a distinct legal entity. (See earlier IPE story: ‘Dresdner splits for 'consolidation')

The move officially divided what were already functionally-separate retail and wholesale units from the investment banking business into two distinct legal entities, and "creates the possibility to react in a more flexible way to the ongoing consolidation of the banking market," a spokesman for Dresdner Bank told IPE at the time.

In March, media speculaton was then hinting at a possible tie-up with the German Postbank, from which Dresdner could free up capital by selling the investment banking business, though the banks declined to comment at the time.

Commerzbank will buy its competitor Dresdner in two steps, taking 60.2% this year and the rest in the next year, to create Germany's second-largest bank and a rival to sector leader Deutsche Bank.

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