Bank to float Springer stake

Move should raise about $723 mil

COLOGNE — Deutsche Bank will reportedly float the 40% stake in publisher Axel Springer that it will take over from the Kirch Group, after the fallen Teutonic media giant defaulted on a x720 million ($656 million) loan.

The float, expected in the fall, should raise about $723 million, making it one of the year’s biggest share issues in Germany.

An attempt by a bank consortium led by Commerzbank to take over the shares collapsed last week after Springer insisted on retaining conditions that effectively give management a veto over ownership changes.

Deutsche Bank has refused to comment on reports about the stake in the German media, but a spokesman said a flotation was a feasible way to meet Springer’s conditions.

Kirch also used the stake as a secondary guarantee for a loan granted by Bayerische Landesbank, J.P. Morgan and Chase and Lehman Brothers to finance broadcasting rights for Formula One motor racing.

According to a Deutsche Bank spokesman, these creditors will receive the excess revenues of the stake sale once Deutsche’s loan is paid back.

(Reuters contributed to this report.)

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