FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Dec 18 (Reuters) - German public sector bank NordLB has entered exclusive talks with Cerberus over its remaining sour ship loans, while continuing negotiations with the private equity group as well as peer investor Centerbridge over the sale of a stake in the bank, sources close to the matter said.
Cerberus is the final suitor for a 3.9 billion euro ($4.44 billion) portfolio of non-performing shipping loans called "Tower Bridge", two sources said, after it last month already entered exclusive talks on a 2.5 billion euro portfolio dubbed "Big Ben".
A deal for the ship loans is contingent on an agreement NordLB aims to strike in February to shore up its balance sheet and cover writedowns on the value of any loans it sells, they added.
NordLB and the bidders declined to comment.
$1 = 0.8790 euros Editing by Maria Sheahan