Rothschilds Aim for Full Control of Bank That Bears Their Name

The Rothschild family, which over decades built an international banking dynasty by advising sovereigns and corporate giants, is preparing a new deal: taking its namesake company private.

Concordia, the family’s investment vehicle, said on Monday that it would offer to buy the roughly 61 percent of shares in Rothschild & Co. that it does not currently own. It is working on a bid of 48 euros ($51.73) per share, 19 percent higher than the stock’s closing price on Friday.

The family is in a strong position, because Concordia controls nearly 48 percent of Rothschild & Co.’s voting rights, while other family-linked firms also own shares. The bank’s stock, which has traded for decades on the Paris exchange, jumped 16 percent after Concordia’s announcement, giving the group a market value of about €3.7 billion.

Taking Rothschild & Co. off the public markets would be the latest evolution of the advisory and investment firm in its more than 200 years of history. Tracing its roots back to a lender in Frankfurt run by Mayer Amschel Rothschild in the 1760s, the firm grew into a multinational bank that helped finance England’s defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, raised money for railways that crisscrossed Europe and counted rulers like Queen Elizabeth II as clients.

The current iteration of Rothschild & Co. was formed in 2012, after the family — led by Evelyn de Rothschild, from the British branch, and his cousin David, from the French side — united its French and British businesses in a bid to keep up with growing international competition. The bank is currently led by Alexandre de Rothschild, who succeeded David.

It operates several businesses, including financial advisory, wealth management and merchant banking. Its advisory arm has consistently ranked among the top 10 deal makers in Europe, though it has regularly trailed American rivals like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. Among its biggest recent assignments include advising on the initial public offering of the carmaker Porsche and the nationalization of the German utility company Uniper.

For the first nine months of last year, Rothschild & Co. made €2.2 billion in revenue, up 11 percent from the year before.

In announcing a plan to buy the remainder of Rothschild & Co., the family vehicle said it wanted to break free from the limits of running a publicly traded company.

“None of the businesses of the group needs access to capital from the public equity markets,” Concordia said in a statement. “Furthermore, each of the businesses is better assessed on the basis of their long-term performance rather than short-term earnings. This makes private ownership of the group more appropriate than a public listing.”

Rothschild & Co. said in a statement on Monday that it had “taken note of this proposed transaction” and hired an outside adviser to assess Concordia’s bid.

A deal would not include Edmond de Rothschild, a Swiss-based wealth management firm run by a different branch of the family.