employees who were waiting for more news on the pending $10 billion merger of their bank and
still will have to depend on water-cooler talk as their prime information source.
Deutsche Chairman Rolf Breuer shed little light on the deal during a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany, early Thursday morning. Deutsche released its 1998 annual report at the press conference.
In fact, Breuer devoted only about three paragraphs to the acquisition, according to a text of the speech. Breuer did confirm that Deutsche was planning to raise about 6 billion marks ($3.4 billion) in a stock offering to help pay for the deal. Breuer also estimated the acquisition of BT would lift Deutsche's operating profit to 12 billion marks ($6.8 billion) by 2001. The bank reported an operating profit of 4.4 billion marks ($2.5 billion) for 1998 at the press conference.
Several insiders at BT and its investment-banking subsidiary,
BT Alex. Brown
groused before the press conference that Deutsche officials have done a poor job detailing some aspects of the merger since its announcement in November. One broker said he hoped Breuer would provide a timeline for the banks' integration, and one investment banker said he was looking for a more detailed organizational chart.
Breuer said in the speech that after the acquisition, Deutsche would have a strong presence in the global investment-banking sector. "Deutsche Bank is targeting a position among the world's top five," he said. Hinting at the integration issues, Breuer said, "A decision has already been reached on which people will fill the management positions. Detailed business plans have been drawn up for all major modules." But he didn't elaborate, according to the text.
The acquisition, which still has to be approved by Deutsche shareholders at their annual meeting in May, still is expected to close in the second quarter, Breuer added.