WestLB pays £2.2m to ousted Sengera

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The Independent Online

Juergen Sengera, the ousted chief executive of WestLB, took with him 3.25m euros (£2.24m) despite losing the confidence of shareholders in the German bank and being forced to step down yesterday. Mr Sengera was entitled to the payment because he was on a five-year contract with WestLB, which would have been up for renewal in 2006.

Mr Sengera quit WestLB ahead of a meeting of its management board yesterday which ruled that its principle finance division, which is run by Robin Saunders, should not do any business until its future has been decided.

WesLB yesterday received a valuation of the principle finance business from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup which is higher than expected. The banks are thought to have placed the value of the equity in the portfolio at more than the £100m price tag which has been circulating.

Johannes Ringel, who has taken over at the helm of WestLB until a permanent replacement is found, is also thought to have struck a conciliatory tone with Ms Saunders and asked her to stay on until the future of the business is decided.

The most likely option is still that WestLB will put the business up for sale. Ms Saunders has made it clear she would be interested in taking it. She has spent the past few weeks bringing together a consortium of backers.

Some of Ms Saunders' best known deals - the refinancing of Wembley and Formula One - may well not be in the package WestLB will sell on. The Formula One debt might be difficult shift because of the amount of the bonds held by WestLB - worth £500m. It may also not want to relinquish the asset because the bonds have performed well so far.

Ms Saunders did not have to quit following a report into her department by German regulators BaFin. The probe centred on an £850m loan WestLB made to TV rentals business BoxClever in 2000.

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