Kirch sues Deutsche Bank for $1.6 bil


MUNICH -- The District Court in Munich confirmed Wednesday that Leo Kirch has sued former KirchGruppe creditor Deutsche Bank and its ex-CEO Rolf Breuer for €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion).

A court spokesman said the trial will begin by next spring at the latest.

Kirch already has won a judgment entitling him to damages from Deutsche Bank for Breuer's public statements, which led to the Kirch empire's downfall. This lawsuit will determine how much he is actually due, an amount that could theoretically fall anywhere between nothing and what he has requested.

As rich as the suit is, it is less than the €1.6 billion amount that had been reported earlier (HR 5/21). It is possible that, in the intervening weeks, Kirch's lawyers have adjusted the amount downward because they will have to prove that the bankruptcy of a KirchGruppe subsidiary, which was a client of Deutsche Bank, caused a loss of the full amount.

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson told reporters that "this suit is an attempt by Mr. Kirch to distract from his own responsibility for the collapse of his company." The bank rejected an earlier request for €1.4 billion in damages as "groundless" (HR 1/20).