January 31, 2019 / 6:55 PM / 7 months ago

German savings banks adopt joint plan to aid ailing NordLB

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German savings banks have decided on a joint plan for the recapitalization of ailing public sector lender NordLB, pitting them against a joint bid by two private equity groups.

The savings banks umbrella organization DSGV said in a statement on Thursday that the decision “is a way to strengthen NordLB in the public sector”.

According to people close to the matter, the savings banks which are already invested in NordLB, as well as the protection schemes of savings banks and landesbanks would inject about 1.2 billion euros into NordLB.

The regional states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, which own a combined 65 percent stake in the lender, would stump up another 2.4-2.5 billion euros.

While the European Central Bank is due to look at the savings banks’ proposal on Friday, NordLB may decide as early as Saturday on which of the two offers to accept.

NordLB needs to shore up its balance sheet to cover writedowns on the value of sour ship loans and has also attracted a joint offer from buyout groups Cerberus and Centerbridge.

Regional savings banks had lobbied against the prospect of private investors taking over the core businesses of municipally-owned lenders, but had been slow in coming up with their own proposal.

Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Arno Schuetze; editing by David Evans

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