RHJ continues finance push with €384m BHF-BANK purchase


Private equity firm RHJ International has agreed to buy German private bank BHF-BANK from Deutsche Bank in a €384m deal.

RHJ subsidiary Kleinwort Benson Group will own 100 per cent of the company following the all-cash deal.

An associated capital increase for KBG supported by Fosun Group, AQTON SE, BlackRock and entities affiliated with Timothy C Collins will leave RHJ with a stake of about 60 per cent in the subsidiary.

BHF-BANK has about €36m of assets under management and deals in private equity, corporate business and financial markets.

Leonhard Fischer, CEO of Kleinwort Benson Group and RHJ, said, “BHF-BANK is an attractive business to us, with significant positions across its core businesses, a rich heritage and a strong balance sheet.

“With their client focus on entrepreneurs, corporates and wealth creators, and strong prospects in their domestic markets, Kleinwort Benson Group and BHF-BANK are also strategically well-aligned.

“We therefore see the proposed acquisition as a significant opportunity to create a strong, client-centric financial services group.”

It emerged in July Brussels-listed RHJ, the holding company of US buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings, was closing its Tokyo office in a bid to shift away from private equity investments and focus on managing a financial institution.

RHJ was previously one of the most active investors in Japan and had large investments in a number of Japanese businesses, but began focusing on financial services after buying KBG from Commerzbank three years ago.

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