HypoVereinsbank to integrate corporate customer business of Westfalenbank mid 2006 (DE)

HypoVereinsbank will integrate the corporate customer business of its wholly-owned subsidiary Westfalenbank AG. The Management Boards of the two companies have now agreed on this move. It will involve a spin-off of Westfalenbank's Corporate Customers, Lending and Special Finance business units to HypoVereinsbank by mid-2006. "With our decision in favor of our parent company, we offer both our customers and employees an environment they are already familiar with, creat-ing attractive prospects for both groups," says Joachim Paulus, member of Westfalenbank's Management Board.

Position strengthened further growth envisaged
Within the framework of the integration, HypoVereinsbank will address approximately 1,500 medium-sized corporate customers of Westfalenbank with a lending volume of about EUR 1 billion and a deposit volume of €400 million. "This move will result in a further significant enhancement of our already strong position among 'Mittelstand' enterprises," comments Johann Berger, who is responsible for the corporate customer business at HypoVereinsbank. "We will continue to grow in North Rhine Westphalia. This is also UniCredit's stated goal."

Continuity desired joint teams during the transition
Together with Westfalenbank's corporate customer operations, some 30 employees will be taken over, who will continue to manage customer relations and provide customer-oriented service. In addition to well-known products and services, business owners will be able to avail themselves of HypoVereinsbank offerings - such as structured financing and the alternative financing instrument PREPS. In addition, they will have access to a regionally comprehensive banking network in Eastern Europe. The two banks will form joint teams to ensure a smooth and efficient transition for customers. The process is to be completed by mid-2006.

Shaping the future realignment of Westfalenbank
The takeover of the corporate customer business is being supplemented by concrete talks between HypoVereinsbank and Crown Mortgage Management (CMM), a British investor, about the acquisition of Westfalenbank. Dr. Christian von Villiez, member of Westfalenbank's Management Board explains: "There is already close collaboration with CMM today in the processing of distressed loans. Only recently, for instance, the servicing of a EUR 300 million portfolio was acquired. In the event of a positive outcome of the ongoing negotiations, Crown's goal will be to evolve Westfalenbank into Germany's first group-independent servicer bank. Many years of activities in the United States and the United Kingdom have made it possible for CMM to gain extensive experience in credit portfolio consulting, structuring, processing and placement.

Source: HVB

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