MILAN -- Germany's Commerzbank AG said on Monday it had joined Italian partner Mediobanca in a deal to buy a 34 percent stake in sports car maker Ferrari from its owner, Fiat.
Commerzbank paid 228 million euros for 10 percent of Ferrari's capital as part of the deal that gives cash-strapped Fiat money in its pocket and Mediobanca the prestige of listing Ferrari in the next year.
When Mediobanca struck a deal last week to buy 34 percent of Ferrari for 775.2 million euros, it said it had already agreed with foreign and Italian banks to buy 12.5 percent of Ferrari from the shares it had bought.
At that price, Ferrari was valued at 2.4 billion euros before a 120 million euro dividend payout, giving an underlying valuation of 2.28 billion euros.
On Monday, a Commerzbank spokesman said: "We are participating in the consortium." Italian media have reported other shares might have been sold to small banks based around Ferrari's home town of Maranello.
But Mediobanca's deal has been spurned by a long list of banks which a financial source said included Fiat shareholder Deutsche Bank, despite an Italian newspaper report that said Deutsche was considering buying into Ferrari.
The source said Mediobanca's valuation of the sports car maker and Formula One racing team was too high and a valuation of about 1.5 billion euros for the would be more appropriate. Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Mediobanca's valuation of Ferrari has raised eyebrows among some experts who think the consortium paid too much. Analysts said it could be worth about half that based on multiples of German rival Porsche.
So far, Italian banks and Fiat creditors IntesaBCI, Unicredito, Sanpaolo IMI and Banca di Roma have turned their backs on the Mediobanca deal.
On Monday, Banca Popolare Commercio e Industria said it wanted to be part of the banking pool buying a stake in Ferrari with the intention of listing it within a year.
"We have excellent relations with Mediobanca and I hope we will be invited to participate," Chief Executive Giampiero Auletta Armenise told a news conference.
OUT IN THE COLD
Deutsche, IntesaBCI and Unicredito were left out in the cold by last week's deal which scuppered their plan to handle a Ferrari IPO later this year, part of Fiat's debt-cutting plan. Deutsche had been global coordinator of the original deal.
"Deutsche does not want Ferrari on its book. Deutsche is trying to get things off its book," the source said, referring to the bank's accelerated plan to sell nonstrategic share holdings.
The source said Deutsche was open for business if Ferrari or Fiat sought investment banking services but not as a repository for shares considered to be overvalued by the markets.
Intesa, Banca di Roma and Sanpaolo put together an emergency credit package worth three billion euros for Fiat last month, in return for promises to cut debts and generate cash flow.