Manchester’s up-for-sale Co-operative Bank said “a number of credible strategic and financial parties have expressed interest in the sale process and are currently evaluating information on the bank.”
The so-called “ethical” bank — hit by a number of scandals in recent years — was rescued by hedge funds in 2013, but last month put itself up for sale amid a neeed to build its capital and meet longer term UK bank regulatory capital requirements.
Co-operative Bank announced on February 13 it was commencing a sale process alongside considering other options to build capital.
“Since then a number of credible strategic and financial parties have expressed interest in the sale process and are currently evaluating information on the bank,” said Co-operative Bank in a stock exchange statement.
“The bank has requested that preliminary expressions of interest should be submitted in the first half of April.
“Following an assessment of those preliminary expressions of interest, the bank plans to proceed to a second phase of the sale process where selected parties will be provided with additional information in order to continue their due diligence with a view to making an offer for all of the issued ordinary share capital of the bank.
“There can be no certainty that an offer for the bank will be made, or that any offer that is made will be on terms acceptable to the bank and its shareholders.”
Co-operative Bank said that in parallel with the second phase of the sale process, it would continue to have discussions with existing equity and debt security holders as well as new potential investors on a capital raise alternative to the sale process.
“The bank has fully discussed, and will continue to discuss, both the sale process as well as the liability management exercise and equity capital raise with the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which has welcomed the actions being taken,” added Co-operative Bank.
Co-operative Bank said its statutory loss before tax, still impacted by legacy issues, was reduced to £477.1 million in 2016 compared to a loss of £610.6 million in 2015.