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Report: HSH Nordbank sale nearly agreed; lender's profit poised to double

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Report: HSH Nordbank sale nearly agreed; lender's profit poised to double

German lender HSH Nordbank AG's state owners could reach a deal to off-load the long-troubled bank by the end of February, "two people close to the matter" told Reuters.

HSH Nordbank, long burdened by an expansive book of soured shipping loans, is poised to report full-year 2017 pretax profit of nearly €300 million, more than double the €121 million booked in 2016, the sources said.

The states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, which own 85% of the bank, and private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management LP and J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC have agreed to the main points of the firms' purchase of the bank, with details to be finalized, including the size of any bad-loan portfolio to be extracted from the bank and sold on to investors, according to the Feb. 16 report.

One source said roughly 600 to 700 of the bank's 2,000 staff are likely to lose their jobs as a result of the long-delayed privatization, which must be completed by the end of February under European conditions for HSH Nordbank's receipt of state aid. Cerberus and J.C. Flowers expect to own the bank for about seven years, the sources said.