LONDON (Reuters) - Former Standard Chartered (STAN.L) chief executive Mervyn Davies is forming a consortium of sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions to buy as much as half of Britain’s 20 billion pound ($29.77 billion) stake in Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), Sky News reported.
Davies approached Britain’s Treasury several months ago about his plan to buy as much as half of the British taxpayer’s 39 percent share in Lloyds, Sky said on Saturday citing insiders.
U.S. private equity firm Corsair Capital, where Davies is a partner, will be part of the consortium but will not buy the stake on its own, Sky said, adding the deal will be structured to acquire the Lloyds stake close to the current share price.
Shares in Lloyds closed at 6463 pence on Friday, valuing the bank at about 47 billion pounds.
Sky said investors such as Standard Life Investments SL.L had been approached about participating in the deal, while banks HSBC (HSBA.L) and JP Morgan were helping Davies structure and finance the transaction.
The broadcaster said the exact size of the stake the consortium would buy was unclear but that it was likely to be much larger than 10 percent or a quarter of the British government’s share.
Lloyds, Corsair Capital and Standard Life Investments declined to comment. Britain’s Treasury was not immediately available for comment.
More than a dozen top banks are finalizing plans to run the 20 billion pound share sale in part-nationalized Lloyds, in what is one of the most prestigious British deals in recent years, and need to pitch by Monday to handle the government’s stake sale.
($1 = 0.6719 British pounds)
Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by James Jukwey