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Germany makes takeover offer for Hypo Real Estate

The German government said it was offering €1.39 per share to take over Hypo Real Estate, another step toward seizing control of the company.

The offer to shareholders would not be tied to fulfillment of any conditions, it said in a regulatory notice on Thursday.

Hypo, Germany’s highest-profile casualty of the financial market crisis, was rescued by a government keen to protect Germany’s covered bond market, one of the biggest in the world.

The German government rushed through an emergency law that would allow it to expropriate Hypo shareholders and take full control of the Munich-based bank.

Berlin has long signaled its intention to take control of the bank, which posted a pre-tax loss of €5.38 billion ($7.3 billion) for 2008, and took a first step toward doing so by agreeing late last month to take an 8.7% stake. (Reuters)