The two alliances prevent takeover by Swedish financial investor EQT. Schufa's neutrality is to be preserved.
The Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken have increased their share in the credit information service Schufa. Together with the savings banks, they now hold more than 50 per cent of the Wiesbaden-based information service provider. The Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken, which already hold shares in Schufa, exercised pre-emption rights and thus increased their share in Schufa to 27.2 from 20.5 per cent, the Federal Association of German Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken (BVR) announced on Thursday. The public savings banks hold 26.4 per cent; they, too, have declared their intention to increase further.
The Volksbanken and Sparkassen have thus thwarted the plan of the Swedish financial investor EQT to take over Schufa. "For the cooperative financial group, the participation in Schufa is of great strategic importance," said BVR board member Daniel Quinten. "With the increase, we are sending a clear signal for Germany as a business location." At the same time, the path taken by Schufa towards becoming an innovative and customer-oriented service provider will be supported in the long term.
The Volksbanken and Sparkassen want to preserve the neutrality of Schufa, which provides retailers and banks in Germany with data on the creditworthiness of customers and business partners. The additional shares acquired by the cooperative banks apparently come from Société Générale, which wanted to sell its 10 percent stake. The largest single Schufa shareholder is the consumer financier Teambank, which belongs to DZ Bank, the central institution of the Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken, with now 18.9 percent.
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