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Biggest privatisation since British Gas

Lloyds shares to be sold to public ‘over next 12 months’

LloydsThe government is to launch a sale of Lloyds shares to the public over the next 12 months in line with a pledge made before the General Election.

It has also extended the deadline for selling shares to institutions to the end of this year.

The treasury aims to offload £9 billion of stock over the next year, £4bn of which will be offered to private investors. Further details of the retail offering will be unveiled “in due course”.

The sale will be the biggest privatisation offering since the 1980s when £5.6 billion worth of British Gas shares were sold.

Lloyds received £20bn from the taxpayer at the height of the 2007-09 financial crisis, leaving the government with a 41% stake in the bank.

UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s stakes in bailed-out banks, said it had extended a ‘trading plan’ for Morgan Stanley to sell Lloyds shares beyond the proposed June 30 deadline until 31 December.

UKFI said: “The actual number of shares sold under the Trading Plan will depend on market conditions, among other factors. As with all disposals, delivering value for money for the taxpayer is a key consideration and shares will not be sold below the average price per share paid for them.”

Between 17 December 2014 to 29 May 2015, approximately 4.2 billion ordinary shares have been sold under the trading plan at an average price of greater than 80p per share, against a break even price of 73.6p.

The treasury currently owns approximately 13.6bn shares in Lloyds, which represents just under 19% of the bank.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as privatisation strategy adviser to UKFI.

It has so far raised £3.5bn through the trading plan, bringing the total raised from the sale of Lloyds shares to £10.5bn.

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