Rabobank Group is in preliminary talks with banks, institutional investors and private-equity firms that may bid for its leasing unit DLL, according to media reports.

Bloomberg cited a person with knowledge of the process saying that the bank could raise as much as €4.5bn from the sale.

The source said that the transaction could be concluded in the second half of 2016 and that there is a consideration of selling parts of the leasing unit.

Rabobank is seeking to cut as much as €150bn of assets by 2020 in preparation for tougher European capital rules.

DLL reported net profit of €454m in 2014, while its profits soared by 13.9% year-on-year to €257m in the first half of 2015.

Earlier this month, DLL financed the replacement of a fleet of 76 ferry port terminal tractors in 6 ports in the Netherlands and the UK for ferry operator Stena Line.

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By GlobalData

A DLL spokesperson declined to comment.

Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reported the possible sale earlier today.