FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Fosun is in exclusive talks to buy German lender Bankhaus Lampe as it seeks to broaden its footprint in the financial services sector of Europe’s leading economy, two people close to the matter said.
Fosun is expected to sign a deal for Lampe in the coming days, valuing the lender’s equity at about 250 million euros ($278 million), the people said.
Lampe’s owner, the billionaire Oetker family whose main interest is in food and beverages, has been shedding non-core assets to concentrate on its core business, spanning Dr. Oetker branded cake mixes, frozen pizza and pudding as well as beer and wine brands.
Oetker Group declined to comment, while Fosun was not immediately available for comment.
In 2017, Oetker sold its shipping firm Hamburg Sued to market leader Maersk for 3.7 billion euros, and in 2018 the family put Lampe up for sale with the help of KPMG.
Fosun already owns German lender Hauck & Aufhaeuser and could reap synergies from combining the two lenders, the people said. It also owns life insurance platform Frankfurter Leben, but is reportedly considering options for it including a potential sale.
Lampe saw net profit decline to 15 million euros in 2018 and under management to 19.1 billion euros from 22.4 in the year earlier.
Bankhaus Lampe, headquartered in Bielefeld, was founded in 1852 and today specialises in asset and wealth management as well as corporate finance services.
While Germany has seen no recent large-scale consolidation in financial services, several smaller banks have changed hands. Among others, Stifel of the U.S. bought Frankfurt-based Mainfirst in 2019, while brokerage Equinet was scooped up by Norway’s Pareto Securities in 2018 and buyout firm Apollo acquired Oldenburger Landesbank in 2017. ($1 = 0.9004 euros) (Editing by Tom Sims)