Berlin takes control of lender Hypo Real Estate

THE GERMAN government completed the nationalisation of stricken lender Hypo Real Estate yesterday, setting up a prolonged legal battle with minority shareholders, including US investment firm JC Flowers.<br /><br />A Munich court approved the squeezing out of minority shareholders, Hypo Real Estate said yesterday, which allowed for the German government&rsquo;s rescue fund SoFFin to take control of 100 per cent of the real estate lender, which has received &euro;102bn (&pound;95bn) of state aid.<br /><br />Against the wishes of a raft of minority shareholders, the proposal to squeeze them out was passed at an extraordinary general meeting on 5 October, fixing an offer of &euro;1.30 a share. Trading was suspended yesterday with the share at &euro;1.441. Buyout group JC Flowers, run by billionaire J Christopher Flowers, last week took legal action seeking to prevent the full nationalisation of the lender.<br />