Private highs

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When Germany's Landesbanks lost their state guarantee last year following a sustained campaign by the European Union, few would have predicted that, 12 months on, they would be courted by private equity firms, attracted by soaring profits in the Landesbank sector.

But that is what happened to HSH Nordbank. At the end of August, the bank announced that a group of institutional investors had snapped up close to 27% in voting rights from WestLB. That acquisition comes on the back of a sharp

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