Deutsche Bank is nearing an agreement to settle a legal dispute with the family of late media mogul Leo Kirch, ending one of Germany’s most bitter and drawn-out corporate disputes, two people familiar with the matter said.
Kirch, who died aged 84 last year, sought for years to recoup about 2 billion euros ($2.64 billion) in damages from Deutsche Bank and former Chairman Rolf Breuer for allegedly causing the downfall of his media empire Kirch Group.
Kirch said Breuer triggered Kirch Group’s downfall by questioning the creditworthiness of his media empire in a 2002 Bloomberg Television interview.
Deutsche Bank representatives and heirs to Kirch have reached an agreement in principle, sources told Reuters on Monday.
They said the proposal, which has yet to be signed off by Deutsche Bank’s management board, is based on a proposal from a German judge that Deutsche Bank pay heirs to the Kirch empire around 775 million euros ($1.02 billion).
Manager Magazin was first to report that a deal was near.