HSH Nordbank Seeks Owner

HSH Beteiligungs Management has started a bidding process to sell the majority of the shares in Germany’s HSH Nordbank, one of the world’s biggest providers of shipping finance.

HSH Beteiligungs Management, owned by the Federal States of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, is putting up for sale up to 94.9% of HSH Nordbank’s shares as part of the bank’s privatization efforts. In May 2016, the European Commission said that the bank’s privatization has to be completed by the end of February 2018.

The seller plans to dispose of all of its shares in HSH Nordbank, Citigroup Global Markets Deutschland, appointed to organize the sale, said.

“HSH Nordbank has been significantly de-risked and restructured over the last years. As a result, HSH Nordbank’s profitability has continuously improved,” Citigroup said, adding that the bank posted a pre-tax profit of EUR 183 million (USD 197 million) during the first nine months of 2016.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by February 27 and submissions of indicative bids are planned for March 31, 2017, according to Citigroup.

The transaction will be subject, inter alia, to a parliamentary approval both in Hamburg as well as in Schleswig-Holstein.

In June 2016, HSH Nordbank transferred a portfolio of non-performing loans from ship financing with a volume of EUR 5 billion (USD 5.5 billion) to hsh portfolio-management AöR of majority owners Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

With this move, the bank reduced its troubled assets, in line with the EU state aid proceedings.

HSH Nordbank encountered financial problems in 2008 as the financial crisis disrupted a number of maritime loans, worth billions of euros.

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