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Allianz considers selling N26 stake at steep discount - sources

A smartphone displays a N26 logo in this illustration

(Reuters) -A unit of Allianz SE is considering selling its stake in German online bank N26 at a steep discount, valuing the lender at $3 billion, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Allianz would still be able to multiply its investment at that valuation, the sources added.

"Undertaking discussions does not necessarily mean acting on or consummating these discussions," Allianz said in an e-mailed reply to a Reuters request for comment.

The Financial Times first reported the story earlier on Wednesday.

Allianz X, the venture capital arm of the Munich-based insurance group, has mandated an adviser to sell about 5% in N26 at a discount of around 68% compared to a 2021 valuation of $9 billion, the FT report said, citing sources.

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Allianz X is one of the largest external investors in N26, according to the FT report.

"N26 is not currently aware of any ongoing secondary sales from existing investors, including from Allianz X, who came on board as lead investors in our Series C round," the online lender said in a statement.

N26, once among Europe's most valued fintechs, widened losses in 2021 while its customer growth slowed following fines from Germany's financial regulator.

Tech startups hungry for venture capital have struggled to raise funds recently as interest rates rise worldwide.

The European tech industry lost $400 billion in value last year, according to a report from venture capital firm Atomico.

($1 = 0.9127 euros)

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh and Alexander Huebner ; additional reporting by Gursimran Kaur Mehar and Andrey Sychev; Editing by Sonia Cheema, Friederike Heine and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)