The name of Rolf Breuer, ex-president of Deutsche Bank may be included into the Guinness Book of World Records as the name of a man whose interview became the most expensive one. Die Tageszeitung reports, the ex-president of Deutsche Bank may have to pay billions of dollars for what he has said about former media tycoon Leo Kirch. Mr. Kirch believes it was Rolf Breuer's statement that provoked the bankruptcy of his empire, Kirch Media.
In February 2002, Deutsche Bank president was asked if he was ready to help the collapsing media concern of Leo Kirch. Rolf Breuer replied that he thought that variant rather dubious. He said that everything reported about the media concern at that period revealed that financial sector could no longer support Kirch Media with borrowed or internal funds.
The Higher Land Court in Munich has recently decided that both phrases by Rolf Breuer were bank secrecy violation. Thus, Leo Kirch has the right to demand that Deutsche Bank must compensate the damage.
In February 2003, the court already decreed that Kirch had the right for compensation of the damage, however Deutsche Bank appealed against the decision. The amount of claims is not clear yet. Dieter Hahn, former deputy chairman of Kirch Media board said at court that if it was proved that Deutsche Bank was the reason of insolvency, the sum of compensation might make up billions of dollars.
Attorneys of the former media tycoon say that negotiation terms of the concern with various banks became worse soon after Breuer's statement. After that, Kirch Media ruined within several months, as it could not borrow loans from banks.
Deutsche Bank representatives have not commented upon the court decision.
Rolf Breuer always rejects all charges brought against him. At court he insisted in that particular interview he reported facts available to everyone. "I was sure that Kirch could be helped."
It is highly likely that this line has helped Rolf Breuer, as judges have dismissed the suit on reparation of damages filed against him personally. Kirch's attorney wants to appeal against the court decision.
Kirch and his creditors, in their turn, have combined their claims addressed to Deutsche Bank and registered a claim against the bank at the NY circuit court. The US often fixes bigger compensations than Germany. Breuer was not really lucky as he had given that ill-fated interview in New York.