FRANKFURT, March 30 German shipping finance
provider HSH Nordbank has received more than ten
expressions of interest from potential buyers in the lender
which seeks to be sold within a year.
HSH's owners - the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and
Hamburg jointly hold 85 percent - have to privatise the bank
under European state-aid rules by the end of February 2018.
Chief Executive Stefan Ermisch warned on Thursday when
presenting annual results that the road to privatisation will be
difficult and ask a lot from all parties involved.
According to people close to the matter fellow state-backed
regional bank NordLB is planning to bid for HSH as will several
private equity companies.
HSH, which had total assets of 84 billion euros ($90
billion) as of the end of 2016 and saw its pretax profit
decrease 73 percent to 121 million euros last year, sought
backing from its owners after risky assets turned sour in 2008.
It got hit further by the slump in global trade after the
financial crisis and the core bank currently has 7 billion euros
in ship loans on its books.
The European Commission, HSH and its owners negotiated for
years over a plan to restore HSH to health and avoid future
($1 = 0.9316 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)