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Four bidders shortlisted for stake in German bank IKB

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11:44 CEST+02:00
Four bidders are interested in buying German bank IKB, which has reported a nine-month loss of about €1 billion ($1.57 billion), a spokesman for its dominant shareholder KfW told AFP on Wednesday.

KfW, a state-owned development bank that holds 45.5 percent of the equity in IKB, would examine the offers on Thursday, the spokesman said. The business daily Handelsblatt, citing financial sector sources, identified the potential buyers as Swedish bank SEB and US investment funds Ripplewood, Lonestar and Texas Pacific Group.

KfW and the private research fund Stiftung Industrieforschung, which owns 10.7 percent of IKB, are divesting their stakes in IKB, a specialist in loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

IKB was bailed out with multibillion-euro credit lines in recent months to offset steep losses from its investments in US subprime mortgages.

On Tuesday, IKB said it swung to a net loss of €1 billion for the first nine months of the financial year, compared with a profit of €142 million in the year-earlier period.

Although it suffered massive losses from investments in securities backed by high risk US mortgages, IKB's core activity of business lending is still considered lucrative.

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