Shipping finance provider HSH Nordbank has launched its sales process, inviting expressions of interest from potential buyers, according to a statement issued by Citigroup on Monday.
HSH’s owners – the northern German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg jointly hold 85 percent – have to privatise the bank by the end of February 2018 and have mandated Citi to organise the process.
Indicative bids are due by the end of March, Citi said on Monday, with the sellers’ clear preference being for a sale of all of their shares in HSH.
HSH, which had total assets of 73 billion euros ($78.5 billion) and posted a pretax profit of 183 million euros as of September, sought backing from its owners after risky assets turned sour in 2008. It got hit further by the slump in global trade after the financial crisis.
The EU Commission, HSH and its owners negotiated for years over a plan to restore HSH to health and avoid future state aid.