Report: HSH Nordbank to Land USD 237 Mn from Sale

German shipping lender HSH Nordbank could fetch a price of USD 237 million (EUR 200 million) from potential new buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported citing unnamed sources.

Cerberus Capital Management LP and J.C. Flowers have submitted a joint bid, while Apollo Capital Management and London-based Socrates Capital filled separate offers, according to the report.

The bids are said to be for the entire bank, not just its performing segment.

The German financer confirmed in October that it had received several bids, but did not disclose the identity of the bidders, adding that the offers would be duly considered.

The bank aims to close its privatization by the end of February next year, as required by the EU Commission.

Over the recent months, HSH Nordbank has been working on cutting its exposure to bad shipping loans that had driven the bank into the red.

To that end, the German bank concluded new business deals in its shipping segment on a restrictive basis.

This means that the bank inked deals on financing exclusively with international shipping companies that have a good credit rating. In the third quarter of the year, the shipping segment was on budget, the bank disclosed, with a figure of EUR 0.4 (0.2) billion.

In the group’s shipping portfolio, the non-performing exposure was reduced to EUR 5.8 billion from last year’s EUR 8.3 billion.

In January this year, HSH Beteiligungs Management started the bidding process to sell the majority of the shares in HSH Nordbank. The company, owned by federal states Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, put up for sale up to 94.9% of HSH Nordbank’s shares.

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

World Maritime News Staff

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