First successful privatisation of a Landesbank completed

Banking, Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, News, Shipfinance — By on November 28, 2018 at 1:10 PM

Stefan Ermisch, CEO

HAMBURG/KIEL – HSH Nordbank AG is today embarking on its future as the first successfully privatised Landesbank in Germany. The commercial bank’s new shareholders, who are independent of each other, are Cerberus Capital Management, J. C. Flowers & Co., GoldenTree Asset Management, Centaurus Capital LP and BAWAG or investment funds launched by these. The sale of all indirectly held shares (94.9 percent in total), which was agreed on 28 February [Link Press Release]   , has today been formally closed. At the same time, the new shareholders acquire the remaining 5.1 percent and now hold 100 percent of the shares in HSH Nordbank AG.

“This successful switch from public-sector to exclusively private-sector shareholders is genuinely new territory in the German banking sector and marks the beginning of a new era for our Bank. My thanks go to our previous shareholders, the federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, who have at all times been professional and focused in driving this sale forward. And, of course, I thank our entire workforce, without whose tireless commitment we would not have been able to write this success story,” said Stefan Ermisch, CEO of HSH Nordbank. “For us, this successful privatisation is both affirmation and motivation, and we shall now focus all our energy on the new era. We will become a medium-sized, Hamburg-based commercial bank for Germany with a pronounced client orientation and we are ready to make a new start.”

There are a number of parameters for the profound transformation of the Bank in the years ahead. The Bank has a clear aspiration: By the end of 2021, it should have a pre-tax return on equity of at least 8 percent, as well as a 15-percent or higher CET1 ratio and a maximum 40- percent cost/income ratio. This is to ensure the seamless transition into the voluntary deposit protection fund of the Association of German Banks (BdB). To achieve the required profitability, the Bank will continue to operate its core business areas, but with a sharper focus and a generally more selective and efficient use of its resources. At the same time, the Bank will pursue a measured international expansion of its real estate and renewable energies financing business.

Juan R. Inciarte to chair Supervisory Board – Bank will adopt new name

Designated Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Juan Rodriguez Inciarte, a highly experienced international banker. He acquired his outstanding expertise during successful roles at institutes including Spain’s Grupo Santander. “It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be chairing the banks new Supervisory Board. With the now completed change of ownership the first-stage goal has been reached. We still have a long road ahead of us. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this oversight committee to support the Management Board in successfully realising our business strategy,” Juan R. Inciarte said.

Subject to the usual committee consultations, and after entry in the commercial register, the bank is expected to operate under the name Hamburg Commercial Bank AG from next February and to change its logo accordingly.

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