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French Bank Credit Mutuel to Buy German Citibank

French regional bank Credit Mutuel announced Friday, July 11, that it will buy the German retail banking operation of US Citigroup for 4.9 billion euros ($7.7 billion).

Citibank logo

Citigroup has been struggling since the US sub-prime crisis

Credit Mutuel beat competitor Deutsche Bank in closing the deal.

"With this major acquisition, Credit Mutuel ... now takes on a significant position in Europe, thus opening up a second domestic market," bank officials said in a statement.

Citbank has about 3.3 million customers, 340 branches and 6,700 employees in Germany.

"With 7 percent of the market, it is an essential player in consumer credit in Germany," Credit Mutuel said.

Citigroup officials in Frankfurt meanwhile announced that the sale of Citibank would get the struggling giant a post-tax capital gain of roughly $4 billion. The bank has suffered from the US suprime home-loan crisis and plans to sell off assets worth $400 billion over the next two to three years.

Credit Mutuel is so far active in two French regions, in Brittany in the northwest of the country and Alsace in the east.

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