Bids Due for Citi German Retail Unit

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Buyers interested in the German retail arm of Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) should submit non-binding offers next week, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The sources said the bank had sent out memoranda to interested local and overseas parties, which also said pretax profit for the German retail arm could reach 880 million euros ($1.4 billion) in 2012.

The U.S. bank also expected a small profit decline this year compared with last year's 546 million euros for the German arm, which analysts estimated could be worth 4-5 billion euros.

German newspaper, Handelsblatt, said the deadline for the submission of an indicative offer is June 4.

Citigroup declined to comment.

Early last month, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the loss-making group was looking to sell the German retail business as part of a global reorganization.

Citi's retail business in Germany, which makes most of its money from loans for items such as cars and large household goods, contributed nearly 3 percent of the bank's global pretax profit in 2006 before the market ructions of last year.

This month, Citigroup announced plans to shed $400 billion of assets within three years in a bid to restore profitability after huge losses.

Although it is profitable, Citi's retail business in Germany — Citibank — has been struggling with fierce competition and falling profit.

(Reporting by Philipp Halstrick and Patricia Nunn, editing by Will Waterman)