AXA, Commerzbank May Sell Stakes in Credit Lyonnais

April 11, 2002

The heads of France’s AXA Group and Germany’s Commerzbank have both indicated that their company’s respective stakes in French bank Credit Lyonnais may be for sale, but that they have no immediate plans to do so.

According to a report in the French financial newspaper Les Echos, AXA’s Henri de Castries indicated that the insurer’s 5.5 percent stake in the recently privatized bank could be for sale “like any other investment.”

Commerzbank’s Klaus-Peter Muller told a group of financial analysts that its 4 percent interest could likewise be for sale, but noted that there were no immediate plans to do so.

Both AXA and Commerzbank are members of the groupement d’actionanaires partenaires (GAP), a special class of shareholders, which also includes Germany’s Allianz, which holds a 9.78 percent stake in Credit Lyonnais through its French subsidiary AGF. In the event either company chooses to sell all or part of its shares, it must first offer them to other GAP members.

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