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Germany's Aareal Bank welcomes $1.9 bln offer from U.S. firms

Kitco News

BERLIN, Nov 23 (Reuters) - U.S.-based Advent International and Centerbridge Partners have made a joint takeover offer for Germany's Aareal Bank (ARLG.DE) that values the lender at 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

"The announced offer is in the best interests of our company and its stakeholders," Aareal Chief Executive Jochen Kloesges said in a statement on Tuesday.

Aareal, which specialises in real-estate lending, said last month that it was in talks over a potential acquisition of a majority stake with a group of investors.

The offer price of 29 euros per Aareal share is a 35% premium over the volume-weighted average during the last three months, Aareal said. Shares in the bank rose 3.9% on the news.

But one Aareal investor, Teleios, which owns a 6% stake, voiced its opposition to the offer by private equity firm Advent and investment management company Centerbridge.

Adam Epstein, Teleios' co-founder, said the offer process cut corners, to the detriment of shareholders.

"Aareal is not a Christmas present for the board to give away," he said, adding that Teleios would act to ensure that the bank's board stages "a professional, structured sale process in the new year".

Advent and Centerbridge will pursue the offer through investment vehicle Atlantic BidCo GmbH. They plan to develop the bank's financial services, real estate, software and payments segments, Ranjan Sen, Advent's head in Germany, said.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; additional reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Christoph Steitz, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Alexander Smith
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