States, savings banks near accord over NordLB recapitalisation -source

FRANKFURT, Jan 23 (Reuters) - German regional states and savings banks are nearing an accord over the recapitalisation of public sector lender NordLB, a person close to the matter said.

NordLB needs to shore up its balance sheet by 3.5 billion euros to cover writedowns on the value of sour ship loans and had been aiming for a solution by early February. It has also attracted interest from buyout groups Cerberus and Centerbridge.

The bank is 65 percent owned by Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt with regional savings banks holding the rest.

Under an agreement in principle presented on Tuesday to the European Central Bank, NordLB’s regulator, the states would contribute more than half of the money needed, the source said.

The rest would come from stakeholder regional savings banks and the protection schemes of savings banks and landesbanks, the source added.

Details are to be worked out in February and final consent by all stakeholders is still outstanding.

The draft accord was first reported by daily Boersen-Zeitung.

A spokesman for the savings banks umbrella organisation DSGV said: “We are approaching our goal step by step in a very constructive cooperation.”

NordLB, the states and savings banks had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Klaus Lauer Writing by Arno Schuetze Editing by Sabine Wollrab and Alexandra Hudson)