SAN FRANCISCO - California Federal Bank said Wednesday that it has completed its previously announced sale of $300 million in nonperforming loans, the latest in a series of bulk dispositions of problem real estate assets in the Golden State.

The Los Angeles-based institution said that more than one buyer took part in the transaction, but it declined to identify the parties or specify prices.

Deal Is a Wash

It noted, however, that the winning bids approximately equaled the loans' written-down values and would result in neither significant additional charges nor recoveries.

Based on previously disclosed information on writedown levels, California Federal got roughly $210 million for the package, about 70% of the original loan values.

The pricing is in line with similar bulk asset sales by institutions such as BankAmerica Corp. and Beverly Hills-based City National Corp. and reflects an improvement in values for distressed Southern California real estate.

Written Bids

The credits covered properties mainly in Southern California, including $163 million in apartment loans, $83 million in other commercial real estate, and $60 million in residential mortgages.

California Federal said the winning bids were - submitted in writing before an electronic auction originally scheduled for last week. The property auction house Cantor Fitzgerald Brokerage conducted the sale.

The transaction slashed California Federal's nonperforming assets by about 25%, from about 7.4% to 5.6% of the thrifts total assets of $15.7 billion.

New Business Strategy

With completion of the bulk sale, the thrift will decide on its business strategy within a few months.

That strategy could include further asset sales, additional capital-raising initiatives, or a sale of the institution, a California Federal spokesman said.

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