Private equity firm Carlyle has approached Metro Bank about a possible takeover, the UK lender said on Thursday.
Metro Bank “has engaged with Carlyle” about a potential offer to take it private, the lender said, without adding how much the buyouts group might pay.
US-based Carlyle now has until December 2 to announce a firm intention to bid, or walk away, under UK takeover rules. Metro said there was no certainty an offer would be made.
Shares in the bank jumped 25 per cent in morning trading on Thursday — although they remain down across the year to date — giving the group a market capitalisation of about £230m.
Metro, which in 2010 became the first bank to open on UK high streets in a century, was hit by a misreporting scandal in 2019, leading to the exit of its chair and chief executive.
The misreporting made it difficult for Metro to meet new rules on the amount of loss-absorbing debt banks have to hold against their liabilities.
Last December the lender announced that it had agreed to sell £3bn of mortgages, roughly 20 per cent of its loan book, to larger rival NatWest, pushing its capital level above the key regulatory minimum.
In July, chief executive Dan Frumkin said its turnround efforts “are beginning to bear fruit”, with half-year results showing a significant drop in losses.
Carlyle declined to comment. The buyouts group does not own other UK banks, although it took Harwood Wealth Management private in 2020.
Metro Bank also declined to comment.
RBC, Jefferies and Bank of America are among the advisers to Metro Bank on the deal.
Credit: Source link