Deutsche Bank Plans Quick Float of Asset Management Arm


German lender Deutsche Bank confirmed Monday it would float asset management division DWS on the stock market as soon as possible, while media reports suggested it will keep a controlling stake.

The flotation of DWS will take place "in the earliest available window, subject to market conditions," the bank said in a statement.

Deutsche did not say what proportion of shares it will offer investors.

But German media reported that around one-quarter of DWS -- with a value of some 2.0 billion euros ($2.5 billion) could be up for grabs.

Deutsche added that it would not increase DWS' capital via the flotation, offering only existing shares for sale.

DWS boasts around 700 billion euros of assets under management, making it one of the largest firms in Europe and worldwide in the sector.

Deutsche Bank chief John Cryan announced plans to float the division -- one of the German champion's biggest units alongside investment and retail banking -- around a year ago.

The flotation is part of the Cryan's strategy to refocus the bank on corporate and retail business in home market Germany, a move away from the global investment banking adventures before the financial crisis that later cost Deutsche billions in fines and compensation.

Executives hope the move will also free up DWS to grow organically and through acquisitions, to set its own pay scales and improve profitability.

Following the initial public offering, DWS will be transformed into a new legal structure that makes it simpler for Deutsche Bank to retain overall control.

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