Private equity investor Lone Star sells German property bank

FRANKFURT Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:36am EDT

FRANKFURT Aug 25 (Reuters) - Private equity investor Lone Star has sold commercial property lender Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG, quitting the second of three investments it has made in the German banking sector over the last decade.

The disposal of Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank follows the sale of Lone Star's Corealcredit to Aareal Bank last year and leaves the investor with IKB, the corporate bank it has tried unsuccessfully to sell so far.

Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank said in a statement Lone Star had sold it to a group of international buyers led by London-based Attestor Capital LLC and to investor Patrick Bettscheider, founder of Frankfurt investment bank Mainfirst.

Lone Star declined to comment on financial details. The buyers were not immediately available for comment.

The private equity investor has worked to slim down the balance sheets of the lenders it bought, restructuring their operations and selling risky assets.

Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank ran into trouble in the financial crisis and received support from a safety net run by the country's BDB commercial banking association as well as from state guarantees. Lone Star bought it in 2010.

Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank had aimed to return to profit in 2013 but fell short of that goal. It made a net loss of 26 million euros ($34 million) in the first half of this year and had total assets of about 11 billion euros as of end-June.

The lender said its new owners planned to maintain its business model, providing a long-term perspective in commercial real estate financing to the bank, its customers and business partners. (1 US dollar = 0.7573 euro) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Kathrin Jones, editing by David Evans)

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