The sale of DVB Bank has gathered huge interest after a teaser document was circulated in the marketplace, say sources.
DVB's parent, DZ Bank, decided in November 2017 to sell DVB Bank and aims to complete the process at the end of 2018.
Airfinance Journal understands that DZ Bank aims to launch a formal sales process with a short list at the end of the second quarter.
DZ Bank has appointed Goldman Sachs to search for a new owner and is rumoured to be in talks with various buyers.
According to sources, DZ Bank now views a “one block” sales approach as very challenging and is instead examining a piecemeal sale. The aviation and rail divisions are likely to be sold first.
One source indicates there is “plenty of interest and curiosity” from the bank community for the aviation and rail businesses. Banks that have expressed interest include Deutsche Bank, SMBC, BTMU, Bank of China, Macquarie, ING and China Development Bank.
Private equities companies are the main source of interest for the shipping business, the source adds.
Earlier this month, HSH Nordbank, the long-troubled German Landesbank, entered an agreement to be acquired by a consortium of private equity firms led by American investors Cerberus and JC Flowers.
HSH Nordbank, which almost collapsed due to its distressed shipping portfolio, agreed to be sold for €1 billion ($1.23 billion).
The bank’s owners, the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg as well as regional savings banks, had been in talks with buyers since mid-January. HSH was rescued in 2009 due to its exposure to the weak maritime market.
In its 2017 report, DZ Bank said “strategic options” were being examined for DVB Bank after annual net profit fell from €1.61 billion to €1.09 billion. DVB, which is DZ Bank’s transport finance business, reported a €774 million loss before taxes in 2017, down from €278 million in 2016.
DVB 's proposed sale comes as its shipping portoflio, which ramped up significantly between 2008 and 2014, continues to deteriorate.
DZ Bank says the market situation remains difficult, with overcapacity in the main shipping segments. Low oil prices are weighing on the offshore segment, adds the bank. Both markets have resulted in greater allowances for losses on loans and advances, says the bank.
DZ Bank was unavailable for comment.