The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Thursday that two bidders have bought $1.45 billion of distressed assets from a Nevada bank that failed in July.

The agency entered a participation agreement with Diversified Business Strategies and Stearns Bank, a $937 million-asset subsidiary of Stearns Financial Services Inc. in St. Cloud, Minn. The deal allows the FDIC to return management of the assets, which had belonged to the $3.4 billion-asset First National Bank of Nevada in Reno, to the private sector while sharing in the expenses and income.

At first the agency will keep an 80% interest in the assets — primarily residential and commercial construction loans. The stake owned by the buyers, who were selected from among 18 bidders, would increase to 40% if the assets' performance improved.

The FDIC has using loss-sharing strategies several times to shift assets from failed banks back to the private sector. The approach was used routinely during the savings and loan crisis. Officials hope that by sharing in asset returns, they can offset resolution costs when the market recovers.

In the last crisis, "these types of structures ultimately resulted in superior recoveries relative to the then-depressed market valuations," James Wigand, a deputy director in the FDIC's resolutions division, said in a press release.

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