EU competition regulators okay HSH Nordbank sale to Cerberus, J.C. Flowers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU state aid regulators approved on Monday the sale of German lender HSH Nordbank to private equity funds J.C. Flowers and Cerberus, saying the sale did not involve public support.

HSH Nordbank, once the world’s largest ship financier, was bailed out twice by the state after a slump in its sector caused by the global financial crisis and over-capacity among shipping firms.

The European Commission, which had waved through the state aid in 2011 and 2013 on condition the bank took measures to ensure its viability, said the sale was carried out through a competitive and non-discriminatory process.

“On the basis of the new private owner’s business plan, HSH can become a viable market player, continuing to support economic development in Germany,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

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