Takeover talks conclude without a deal for Co-op Bank

PA

Talks over a potential takeover of the Co-operative Bank have ended without a deal, a month after it announced news of an approach.

The bank said that its majority shareholders have concluded discussions with an unnamed third party, which had shown an interest in a deal.

“The Co-operative Bank … and/or its ultimate shareholders from time to time attract approaches regarding the possibility of acquiring the bank, given the progress made in its turnaround and strength of its brand,” it said in a statement on Monday morning.

It was just over a month ago that the Co-operative Bank said that preliminary discussions were going on between its shareholders and a financial sponsor over a non-binding offer.

The details were scarce, but the bank said that it had hired advisers to help provide the potential bidder with the information it needed.

It warned at the time that there was no guarantee that the discussion would progress any further.

On Monday, the Co-operative Bank said: “The bank’s majority shareholders have now confirmed that these discussions have ended.”

Chief executive Nick Slape said: “Our priority is to support our personal and small business customers through the current period of economic uncertainty.

“We are making good progress as we deliver our strategy, having achieved some important milestones during 2020, and we are focused on returning to profitability and building a strong and successful Co-operative Bank.”

Last month, Sainsbury’s also revealed on the same day that it had been the target of “some very preliminary” takeover approaches.

It came after reports that NatWest Group might be eyeing the supermarket’s banking arm.

Last week Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources, that Sainsbury’s has invited first-round offers, after receiving approaches.

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