Kirch Collapse

Seeking Redress, Deutsche Bank Turns Against Former CEO Breuer In Kirch Case

Warnstreik der Beschäftigten von Banken
A recent warning strike at a Deutsche Bank branch in Berlin in July 2014.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Deutsche Bank, already involved in a series of court cases, is looking for any way it can to recover some of its legal costs and improve its bottom line.

  • Facts


    • Deutsche Bank and Kirch Group settled a long-running damages case earlier this year, agreeing to pay €925 million to the heirs of Leo Kirch.
    • Deutsche Bank reported a 29 per cent year-over-year drop in net income in the second quarter, partly related to litigation expenses.
    • Deutsche Bank has set aside €2.2 billion future litigation.
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It all began with an interview. Former Deutsche Bank chief executive Rolf Breuer questioned in February 2002 whether Kirch Group could pay its bills. Three months later, Kirch Group, which owned sports rights and TV channels in Germany, filed for insolvency. One month later, media mogul and founder Leo Kirch filed a claim for damages against both Mr. Breuer and Deutsche Bank.

The story finally ended earlier this year with a €925 million ($1.24 billion) out-of-court settlement. Deutsche Bank paid the heirs of Mr. Kirch, who passed away in 2011. The Frankfurt-based bank has since been looking for ways to recover at least some of the money.

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