August 24 - NORD/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank) and KKR Credit have reached an agreement by which, subject to completion of certain conditions precedents, KKR Credit, together with a sovereign wealth fund, will acquire a portfolio of performing and non-perf

The initial portfolio with a total volume of about USD1.5 billion will include up to 100 ships and would form the seed mandate for a shipping portfolio management company that the investors will create simultaneously with the closing of this sale. This company is designed to be open for use by third party banks for their portfolio management.

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016 and is expected to be structured as a securitisation with NORD/LB and the investors both acting as initial investors therein. The parties have agreed not to disclose the terms.

Dr Gunter Dunkel, chairman of the management board of NORD/LB said: "The agreement reached with the investors is a significant milestone for the bank as it continues to effectively manage its balance sheet through the ongoing shipping crisis.

"This initial sale clearly demonstrates the bank's ability to attract capital from internationally renowned investors and at the same time yields a very tangible reduction to the bank's shipping exposure. When this innovative transaction closes, it will be a significant contribution to reducing the bank's overall ship loan exposure from EUR18 billion (USD20.3 billion) to EUR12-14 billion (USD13.5-15.7 billion)."

Johannes P. Huth, head of KKR's operations in Europe, Africa and Middle East said: "We are grateful for the collaboration with NORD/LB and our investing partners in developing and pioneering this initiative. This transaction is in line with KKR's focus on investing in and managing banks' non-core and under-performing assets."

With total assets of EUR182 billion (USD205 billion), NORD/LB is a leading German business bank. Its core business segments include structured financing in the energy and infrastructure sector, ship and aircraft financing, corporate customers' business, commercial real estate financing, capital market business and private and commercial customers.

KKR is a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds.