After two years of heavy losses, Deutsche Bank is asking investors for $8.5 billion to help improve its financial health.
Germany’s biggest bank announced plans for the huge share sale on Sunday along with another overhaul of its strategy.
Deutsche Bank said it will seek to raise about €8 billion ($8.5 billion) in the coming weeks — its fourth capital hike since 2010. The four add up to a total of about €30 billion ($32 billion), more than the bank’s current market value.
CEO John Cryan, who took up the top job in 2015, had said previously that the bank could get by without turning to markets for more money.
Deutsche Bank’s share price took a hammering in September, crashing to its lowest level in more than 20 years because of fears it didn’t have the funds to cover its mounting legal costs. The bank and the German government had to deny that a bailout was in the cards.
The lender weathered that crisis, and its stock has rebounded strongly from its September lows, making a capital increase more appealing.
But the plan means current investors will take a hit: Deutsche Bank shares fell Friday as reports of the hike emerged and continued their plunge Monday, sinking around 6% in Frankfurt, after details were announced.
Cryan said in a message to employees on Sunday that shoring up the bank’s capital will “remove a major source of uncertainty” and “make us significantly more attractive for our clients.”
Deutsche Bank also announced U-turns on two big strategic moves it made in 2015.
It’s no longer planning to spin off its Postbank subsidiary, which has a big retail branch network. Instead, it wants to merge Postbank with its private and commercial banking business.
And it’s putting its market trading operations back into the same unit as corporate and investment banking after previously splitting them up.
Cryan has been trying to untangle Deutsche Bank from a thicket of legal cases that have hindered it since the global financial crisis. The bank recently agreed a $7.2 billion settlement over toxic mortgage assets and was hit with about $630 million in fines over a Russian money-laundering scheme.
It reported a net loss of €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) for last year, following a €6.8 billion ($7.2 billion) deficit in 2015.