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Report: Bidding for state-owned bank NordLB moves on with fewer suitors

The bidding for state-owned Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale continues with a shortlist of fewer than 10 investors, according to a Reuters report carried by Handelsblatt on Oct. 12.

The bank's owners decided to reduce the number of investors and pick only offers that fit best into the future strategic plans for NordLB, according to a spokesman for the northern German lender.

The remaining bids come both from private investors and other banks, the spokesman said. Among the bidders are private equity funds Cerberus Capital Management LP and Apollo Global Management LLC, investment group Socrates Capital Ltd. and German state-owned bank Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, according to Handelsblatt.

Cerberus already holds minority stakes in both of Germany's biggest private commercial banks, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, and was the leading investor in the privatization of NordLB peer HSH Nordbank AG, agreed upon in February.

NordLB, majority-owned by the state of Lower Saxony, is exploring options to raise capital to offset the high loan loss provisions made on its large shipping loan portfolio. The bank and its owners, also including the state of Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony savings banks, want to have a final option for the capital raise by the end of the year, according to the spokesman cited in Handelsblatt's report.