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Allianz and its fateful acquisition of Dresdner Bank

Mark Thomas (Grenoble EM, Grenoble, France)
Christian Weber (Business School, Universitat Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany)

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 13 June 2016




The Allianz acquisition of Dresdner Bank was announced as one of the most important deals of the year, in 2001. It was certainly one of the largest. In April 2001, the Munich-based insurance firm, Allianz, bought Dresdner Bank for more than €20 bn. Unfortunately, such optimism was unfounded. The projected synergies never materialized and in August 2008, Allianz sold Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank for €9.8 bn. The company had lost more than half its value in just seven years. The purpose of this article is to analyze how this happened.


The article is a case study of the acquisition Dresdner, looking specifically at problems of post-merger integration.


The article shows that problems of corporate culture were a serious handicap to the success of the merger.


The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.



The authors would like to thank Dr Marc Bertoneche, visiting professor of finance at Harvard Business School, for his inspiration in the writing of this article.


Thomas, M. and Weber, C. (2016), "Allianz and its fateful acquisition of Dresdner Bank", Strategic Direction, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 23-26.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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