Flowers-backed Hypo seeks €15bn emergency lifeline

The German commercial real estate lender is the first private sector group to ask for help from Germany’s €500bn bailout fund as it waits for the arrival of a previously agreed €50bn rescue package.

JC Flowers-backed Hypo Real Estate has asked for a €15 billion lifeline from the German government in a bid to cover its short-term cash flow problems.

It comes less than a month after the commercial real estate lender was pulled back from the brink of collapse with a €50 billion rescue package provided by the German government, the Bundesbank and a consortium of banks.

The €50 billion rescue plan was in the final stages of negotiation, Hypo said, and would be available by mid-November. However,  it added it would also ask the bailout fund for “additional comprehensive support”, including potential recapitalisation measures.

Hypo is one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in Europe. Recent transactions include providing €305.6 million to Pirelli Real Estate and RREEF for the acquisition of 29 buildings from Italy's ENPAM pension fund and providing €95 million for The Carlyle Group's acquisition and refurbishment of Tour Franklin in Montreuil sous Bois.

In June, private equity firms JC Flowers and Grove International, working with Japanese financial institution, Shinsei Bank, invested €1.1 billion in Hypo for up to 24.13 percent of the firm’s shares. JC Flowers offered €22.50 a share for the stake. Hypo's share price was around €5.11 at press time.