Commerzbank sells $6.5 bn in real estate loans

Germany's Commerzbank sells British real estate financing portfolio with $6.5 billion in loans

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's second-largest bank is selling its British real-estate financing business, including 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in loans, to a consortium of Wells Fargo and Lone Star Funds.

The sale by Commerzbank AG agreed Monday is part of the bank's efforts to shed non-core activities. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Commerzbank was hit hard by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and was partly nationalized. It plans to cut 5,200 jobs, more than a tenth of its workforce, over the next three years.

Finance Ministry spokeswoman Marianne Kothe said Monday that the government aims to reduce its stake in the bank as soon as possible but it is "currently not foreseeable" when that will happen.

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