Lloyds receives $900 million bids for Australian operations: WSJ

LONDON Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:33am EDT

A man waits outside the corporate headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group in the City of London August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A man waits outside the corporate headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group in the City of London August 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) has received indicative bids for its Australian asset finance and commercial lending units that value them at more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($918 million), the Wall Street Journal reported late on Monday.

The part-nationalized bank is preparing to exit the Australian market as part of a turnaround plan to sell non-core assets and focus on lending to British households and businesses.

The British government is also preparing to sell its 39-percent stake in the country's largest retail bank.

Lloyds declined to comment.

The British bank is selling its motor and equipment-leasing business Capital Finance and commercial lending operation BOS International.

National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp, ANZ Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Macquarie Group (MQG.AX) are among parties that made initial bids for the bulk of Lloyds' Australian arm, the report said.

About three buyers are likely to be shortlisted this month and a deal is expected to be struck by December, the newspaper said.

Lloyds is also planning the sale of a A$700 million loan portfolio within BOS International and has shortlisted at least five bidders, Reuters reported on August 2.

Goldman Sachs is advising Lloyds on the sales.

($1 = 1.0899 Australian dollars)

(Reporting By Anjuli Davies; Editing by David Goodman)

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