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CEO of Germany's Portigon steps down amid talks to sell unit
August 12, 2015 / 3:35 PM / 2 years ago

CEO of Germany's Portigon steps down amid talks to sell unit

FRANKFURT, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Portigon AG, the successor to broken-up German state bank WestLB, has resigned over Portigon’s strategy in talks to sell its financial services unit.

Kai Wilhelm Franzmeyer, who had been CEO since April last year, was stepping down from the board with immediate effect, Portigon said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The reason for Dr. Franzmeyer’s departure are differences over business strategy in the current discussions about the future of Portigon Financial Services GmbH,” Portigon Chairman Friedhelm Plogmann said in the statement.

Plans to sell the unit had been put on ice in the middle of last year due to unfavourable market conditions.

Portigon’s management board has also been in flux. The resignation of a board member in December cut the board to just two people.

The company’s supervisory board would decide on a successor to Franzmeyer in the coming days, the statement said.

Portigon’s predecessor WestLB was bailed out by its public-sector owners after a series of trading scandals and losses. The European Commission approved the bailout only under strict conditions.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which owns Portigon, is under time pressure because the EU Commission has demanded the Portigon Financial Services unit, which specialises in dealing with bad bank assets, be sold or possibly wound down by 2016. (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Mark Potter)

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