NationsBank Corp. said Monday it will sell its British broker unit, Panmure Gordon & Co., shedding one of the most profitable U.S.-owned brokerages in Britain.

The move would enable NationsBank to concentrate on expanding in the United States, reports said.

West Merchant Bank, the investment banking arm of the German state-owned Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, is expected to pay $45 million for Panmure, which NationsBank acquired in 1987.

Panmure caters to institutional investors and helps raise equity for British and U.S. corporations here and in Britain.

A NationsBank spokesman would not confirm the price but said the company would continue its international capital markets operations. The sale awaits approval from regulators and the boards of the two companies.

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