Private equity firms eye Commerzbank's 5 bln stg UK property business-FT

March 11 Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:45pm EDT

March 11 (Reuters) - Private equity firms are looking to buy the UK property business of Germany's second-biggest lender, Commerzbank AG, in a potential 5 billion pound ($7.45 billion) deal, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing several people familiar with the matter.

U.S. investment firms such as Blackstone, Lone Star and Starwood Capital have expressed interest in buying all or part of Eurohypo, the German bank's commercial property lending business, the newspaper said.

Commerzbank declined to comment on the report.

The Financial Times reported that the 5 billion pound price represents the nominal value of Eurohypo's UK loans.

Barclays was said to be managing the sale.

A sale is not the only option being considered, with Commerzbank preferring to hold the loans until maturity rather than sell at a steep discount, the report said.

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