Despite being owned by the government, WestLB is only now getting the government-funded bailout that is apparently the right of every bank.
Unlike many of the rest of the banks on both sides of the Atlantic, which got their billions (or trillions) with few--if any--strings attached, Germany and the European Commission are force-feeding WestLB some pretty stiff medicine. The bank plans the old good bank-bad bank split, but also has to reduce its size by half, sell off its riskier business and then sell itself over the next two years in order to qualify for the aid. In return, Germany's bank-bailout fund will provide a capital injection to the WestLB "core bank."
Up until now, WestLB has pretty much had to fend for itself as it tries to rid itself of €85 billion in toxic assets. The bank's shareholders--including the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen--have already put up €4 billion to guarantee the muck.
WestLB's Owners, German Government Agree on Rescue [Bloomberg]