Germany Seeks Offers for $13 Billion WestLB Real Estate Loans

A German government agency began the sale of a company owned by failed bank WestLB AG that has 9.7 billion euros ($13 billion) of property loans.

Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, the Dusseldorf-based agency that’s winding down WestLB’s assets, set a May 30 deadline for investors to signal their interest in buying Westdeutsche Immobilien Bank AG, EAA spokeswoman Marie Luise Hoffmann said by phone. JPMorgan Chase & Co. will manage the sale.

Record-low interest rates and low bond yields are fueling demand for real estate-related assets in Germany, which offer higher returns. About 30.8 billion euros of German offices, shops and warehouses changed hands in 2013, the most since 2007, according to data compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

EAA Chief Executive Officer Matthias Wargers said in April the agency would try to sell WestImmo, as the WestLB unit is known, this year. The agency took on about 200 billion euros of WestLB’s loans, bonds and derivatives.

This is the second attempt to sell the loans after the government failed to secure a deal in 2011.

WestImmo, based in Mainz, had 7.7 billion euros of commercial real estate loans and 2 billion euros of apartment-construction loans in its portfolio at the end of March, Hoffmann said.

The news was reported earlier today by the Thomas Daily website.

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