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German state-owned bank NordLB to get indicative acquisition bids soon

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, which is looking to raise capital, is expected to receive first indicative bids for a minority stake from interested investors from Oct. 8, Handelsblatt reported.

Binding offers are expected over the next few weeks. The bank, majority-owned by the state of Lower Saxony, could draw interest from private equity investors, peer landesbanken, hedge funds and other commercial banks, according to the report. The state of Lower Saxony is looking to sell a minority stake in NordLB.

Landesbanken, which act as the central institutions for German state-owned savings banks, are preferred buyers, according to Handelsblatt. Politicians have long considered a consolidation in the landesbanken sector necessary, and are more likely to back an acquisition by another landesbank, the report said.

An acquisition by private investors is seen as problematic because, in the case of a privatization, NordLB would have to leave the savings banks' investor protection scheme.