Arabic Finance Circle appoints “renowned German bank”(3)

The companies being stalked by the mysterious investor group the Arabic Finance Circle have played down the group’s interest, as it appoints a renowned, but unnamed German bank to contact shareholders.

The mysterious group of Middle Eastern investors, the Arabic Finance Circle, has appointed “a renowned german bank” for its acquisition of minority or majority stakes in three German companies, according to a statement.

Last Friday, the group said it wanted to buy a 20 percent stake in German reinsurer Munich Re, as well as a substantial stakes in trader Comdirect Bank and Vienna-listed engineering group A-Tec Industries. 

A-Tec’s chief executive Mirko Kovats said in a statement the approach is “very mysterious” and he does not intend to sell his 55.2 percent stake in A-Tec to AFC.

Kovats said, “I can categorically rule out the sale of a majority stake in A-Tec.” A-Tec and AFC have not met to discuss the offer.

Munich Re’s spokesperson said its shares were 100 percent publicly listed and Arabic Finance has yet to build a stake above 3 percent, a size of investment it would have to declare under German law.

The Arabic group took the unusual step of saying up-front what price it was willing to buy the shares at, offering €210 per share in A-Tec, €14 per share in Comdirect and €145 per share in Munich Re. It intends to invest €20 billion across the German speaking markets.

The offers are well above the target companies’ share prices. A-Tec Industries share price was down 8.61 percent today to €134.35 having climbed on news of the potential bid. Munich Re was up 0.59 percent to €109 and Comdirect was down 3 percent at €8 at 1440.

German banks Dresdner Kleinwort and Deutsche Bank are the two banks most likely to be advising. Dresdner and Deutsche declined to comment.