UniCredit Unit Said to Explore Private-Equity Stake Sale

HypoVereinsbank, the German unit of Italian bank UniCredit SpA, is considering selling private-equity fund stakes in a deal that would bring in capital for future investments, said four people briefed on the matter.

The unit has selected UBS AG to help explore a so-called stapled secondary transaction, which could reach or exceed 600 million euros ($799 million), according to the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public..

Oliver Gadney, a spokesman at UBS, and Nicole Rappl, a spokeswoman at HVB, declined to comment.

Under the deal being considered, a buyer would provide capital to Milan-based UniCredit’s private-equity fund group, which is led by Martin Langer. The team has historically relied solely on UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank, for capital.

Financial institutions have been selling private-equity interests as they exit businesses that aren’t central to shore up balance sheets and contend with regulatory pressure. Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Citigroup Inc., Barclays Plc, Credit Agricole SA and HSH Nordbank AG are among other banks that have turned to the secondary market in recent years.

HVB used the secondary market in 2011 when it shopped a portfolio of about 300 million euros, according to one of the people. Campbell Lutyens & Co. ran that process.

HVB, based in Munich, was acquired by UniCredit in 2005 and now operates as UniCredit Bank AG.

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