FRANKFURT Jan 31 Public finance specialist
Depfa, which state-rescued German bank Hypo Real Estate
has put on the block, has attracted binding offers
from several private equity groups and hedge funds, several
people familiar with the transaction said.
A consortium of hedge funds including Third Point, which
approached Hypo Real Estate over Depfa in February 2012, is
among the final bidders, one of the people said.
Separately, a consortium of hedge fund Och-Ziff and
Blackstone bid, as did J.C. Flowers and Apollo,
three other people familiar with the transaction said.
Former UBS Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel with backing from
a sovereign wealth fund has also handed in a bid, two of them
The offers value Depfa at 200-300 million euros
($271.27-406.91 million), the sources said, adding Hypo Real
Estate is planning for a final round of bids in several weeks.
"We are currently evaluating the offers but presently cannot
comment on the number of bidders and the bids," a spokesman for
Hypo Real Estate said.
The bidders declined to comment, except for Och-Ziff and
Blackstone, which were not immediately available for comment.
Hypo Real Estate has to sell Depfa by the end of 2014 and
its Deutsche Pfandbriefbank arm by 2015 as a condition
of the European Commission's approval of its state bailout.
Germany nationalised the stricken real estate lender, which
collapsed in the aftermath of the Lehman Bros bankruptcy. Hypo
Real Estate received a 10 billion euro capital injection in the
wake of the financial crisis as well as 145 billion euros in
Sector bankers have said in the past that Hypo Real estate
could end up winding down Depfa itself, as that may prove easier
than a sale to a private equity investor, which would have to
shoulder relatively high refinancing costs as they usually do
not have cheap access to bond markets.