* Deadline for sale extended by European regulators
* Lloyds expected to launch IPO at end-May -sources
(Adds further details)
By Matt Scuffham
LONDON, May 13 The European Commission has
approved plans by Lloyds Banking Group to list hundreds
of branches renamed TSB on the London Stock Exchange, paving the
way for a flotation before the end of June.
The Commission said on Tuesday it had extended an original
deadline of November 2013 for Lloyds to sell off the 631
branches to the end of 2015. Lloyds had planned to sell the
branches to the Co-operative Bank but that deal fell through
last year when a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5 billion) capital
shortfall at the Co-op was exposed.
Lloyds was ordered to sell the business by European
regulators as a condition of its 20.5 billion pound government
bailout during the 2008/09 financial crisis. It opted for an IPO
when the planned sale to the Co-op collapsed.
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said
establishing TSB as a standalone bank would increase competition
in UK retail banking and create a "viable and competitive bank".
"The proposed changes in the divestment perimeter will
enhance TSB's profitability and preserve its viability as a
challenger in the market," Almunia said.
Banking industry sources expect the IPO to be launched in
the last week of May and the stock to be listed before the end
of June. Lloyds has said it will sell at least a 25 percent
stake in the bank and that the sale will include an offer to
private retail investors.
($1 = 0.5939 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)