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How Germany Might Sell Its Commerzbank Stake: Four Scenarios

A Commerzbank bank branch in Frankfurt.
A Commerzbank bank branch in Frankfurt.Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Angela Merkel’s rescue of Commerzbank AG almost a decade ago was never planned to be a long-term solution. And yet no immediate sale seems likely, even as she embarks on her fourth term.

Divesting the 15.5 percent stake wasn’t even discussed during the new government’s coalition negotiations, according to people familiar with the matter, who said selling the Commerzbank holding is at the bottom of its to-do list. A quick sale can’t be expected for as long as the conditions aren’t ripe, a government official said, on condition of anonymity.