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Co-operative Bank exploring potential sale

Co-op bank
Bank may put itself up for sale (pic: Terry Murden)

Co-operative Bank is considering putting itself up for sale, as it reviews its prospects amid tighter trading in the sector.

The proposal is one of a number of options under review after it called in advisers at PJT Partners and Fenchurch Advisory.

The bank is also exploring mergers, acquisitions, and an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency.

However, the bank is said to be waiting for market conditions to improve following recent jitters sparked by the Silicon Valley Bank turmoil last month.

Talks with advisers are said to be at an early stage.

Co-op Bank had an equity value of close to £1.3bn at the end of December, according to its latest annual accounts.

It had more than £28bn of assets on its balance sheet and reported a pre-tax profit of £132.6m for 2022.

It is not the first time the Co-operative Bank has considered a sale or merger. There was the possibility of a sale to Cerberus Capital Management in 2020 but those talks broke down.

A sale of the bank to Cerberus Capital Management was on the cards in 2020 but talks ultimately broke down.

In 2021 the Co-op then made an audacious offer to rival TSB which was rejected by its Spanish parent company Banco Sabadell.

The Co-op Bank, and the groups named as potential suitors, all declined to comment.

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