Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, the German lender that received a government bailout, drew offers of as much as 350 million euros ($472 million) for Dublin-based Depfa Bank Plc, two people familiar with the matter said.
A preferred bidder could be selected within four weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. J.C. Flowers & Co., Apollo Global Management LLC (APO:US) and a group led by Third Point LLC each made an offer, and Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) filed a joint bid with Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (OZM:US), people familiar said.
“We have received bids which we are evaluating and I can’t comment any further,” Walter Allwicher, a spokesman for Hypo Real Estate, said by phone.
Hypo Real Estate, based in Munich, received European Union approval for the bailout in 2011 as Germany injected 10 billion euros to save the company from collapse. As part of the restructuring, Hypo Real Estate Chief Executive Officer Manuela Better has to sell the Depfa unit, a provider of public-sector finance, by the end of 2014.
Bids submitted by the Jan. 28 deadline ranged from 250 million euros to 350 million euros, two people said. Reuters identified the bidders in a report on Jan. 31.
Oswald Gruebel, former CEO of UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, is involved in a bid with at least one Middle East sovereign-wealth fund, said one of the people. Gruebel became a senior adviser two years ago to Mead Park Holdings LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, two people familiar with the matter said at the time.
Depfa had total core assets of 51 billion euros and a core tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of financial strength, of 20 percent at the end of the first half of 2013, according to Hypo Real Estate.
Charles Zehren, a spokesman for Apollo at Rubenstein Associates Inc., declined to comment on Jan. 31. J.C. Flowers declined to comment on its involvement in the process in an e-mailed response to questions. Elissa Doyle of Third Point, Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Och-Ziff at Sard Verbinnen & Co., Peter Rose, a spokesman for Blackstone, and Gruebel also declined to comment.
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