Co-op Bank gets takeover approach; Cerberus touted

Manchester-based Co-operative Bank said on Tuesday it has received an approach “regarding the possibility of a sale of the bank and/or the holding company.”

Co-op Bank declined to comment on reports claiming the talks are with Cerberus Capital Management.

“The bank has recently attracted an approach from a financial sponsor with knowledge and experience of investing in European financial services businesses regarding the possibility of a sale of the bank and/or the holding company,” said Co-operative Bank.

“The bank continues to be in discussions with this financial sponsor, although such discussions remain at a preliminary stage.

“There can be no certainty that discussions with this financial sponsor will progress further, or that any binding offer will be forthcoming nor whether the bank’s ultimate shareholders will find the terms of a binding offer (if any) acceptable.”

The self-styled “ethical bank” has been recovering in recent years from a number of scandals that resulted in a rescue by a group of hedge funds.

The announcement came as Co-op Bank said it was initiating discussions with investors about raising new regulatory capital.

Co-op Bank said” “Following the recent Q3 trading update issued by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c., confirming its intention to actively pursue an MREL-qualifying transaction in the fourth quarter of 2020, The Co-operative Bank Finance p.l.c. will today begin marketing a potential GBP-denominated MREL-eligible debt issuance and has mandated Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs International as Joint Lead Managers to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings starting on 17 November 2020.

“A RegS GBP-denominated MREL-qualifying senior debt transaction with an expected instrument rating of Caa1 by Moody’s is expected to follow, subject to market conditions.”

Cerberus declined to comment.