Clydesdale’s interest, which first emerged in August, comes just weeks before the European Commission-imposed deadline on RBS to dispose of 300 branches as part of the £45 billion rescue bid in 2008.
Bank offer on table
Clydesdale in talks over Williams & Glyn
In a statement issued this morning (Wed) it confirmed that talks had taken place with RBS.
“The Board of CYBG notes the recent press speculation regarding a possible acquisition of Williams and Glyn from The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
“The successful demerger and IPO of CYBG in early 2016 created an independent competitor in the UK banking market, and the Company recently set out its strategy for growth over the medium term.
“Whilst the Board of CYBG recognises it has a duty to continually evaluate all potential opportunities to enhance its business, it will only evaluate combinations that are in line with the Company’s strategic objectives.
“The board of CYBG can confirm that the company has engaged in discussions with RBS and has made a preliminary non-binding proposal to RBS in relation to its Williams and Glyn operations. This engagement is ongoing and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur, nor as to the terms on which any transaction might be concluded.
“A transaction will only be pursued if it is determined by the Board to be in the best interests of CYBG shareholders.
“Further announcements will be made as required.”
Santander dropped out of talks with RBS in the summer. It was the second time it had withdrawn its interest. In 2012 it was unhappy about IT issues and this time it disputed the £1.3 billion price tag.
CYBG was floated earlier this year following its split from National Australia Group, is likely to be interested in the sizeable small business customer base.
News that a new offer is on the table will come as some comfort to RBS bosses who risk missing the deadline.
Even so, it may struggle to get much more than £1bn for a business it intended to parcel up under the relaunched Williams & Glyn brand.