April 17, 2013 / 7:22 PM / 5 years ago

Commerzbank closing in on 4-bln-stg Eurohypo deal - report

April 17 (Reuters) - Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest lender, is in exclusive talks to sell its UK property business Eurohypo to private equity firm Lone Star and U.S. bank Wells Fargo & Co, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

The FT reported the 4-billion-pound deal, if successful, would mean Lone Star controlling Eurohypo’s distressed debt and Wells Fargo the performing loans.

Commerzbank declined to comment on the report.

Cash-strapped European banks, including bailed-out Commerzbank, have so far been reluctant to shed assets to rebuild their weakened balance sheets as sales could force them to recognise losses in their portfolios.

Other bidders, such as private equity groups Blackstone Group LP, Apollo and Starwood Capital, and asset manager Pimco, were informed on Wednesday that their bids had been rejected, the Financial Times said.

Commerzbank last year decided to wind down Hypothekenbank Frankfurt International, previously known as Eurohypo, which does not underwrite new business anymore but runs off existing loans.

Commerzbank is being advised on the deal by Barclays , the Financial Times said.

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