Bidding for IKB in final stages

Four bidders – SEB SA, Ripplewood, Lonestar and Texas Pacific Group (TPG) – remain in the race to buy German corporate bank IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing sources within the financial industry.

State-owned KfW Bankengruppe, which owns 45.5% of IKB shares, is expected to discuss at a meeting on Wednesday offers it has received and compile a short-list of bidders, the newspaper said.

KfW and Stiftung Industrieforschung are divesting their stakes in the troubled bank, which has had to be bailed out with multibillion-euro credit lines in recent months to offset steep losses from its investments in US subprime loans. Stiftung Industrieforschung holds 10.7%.

On Tuesday, IKB said it swung to a net loss of €1.0bn for the first nine months of the financial year, compared with a profit of €142m in the year-earlier period.