April 24 Lloyds Banking Group's planned
sale of over 600 bank branches to the Co-operative Group
has collapsed after the latter decided it could not
proceed with the 750-million-pound ($1.15 billion) deal, the
Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people
familiar with the situation.
The deal was meant to lift the Co-op's share of Britain's
bank branch network to 10 percent from less than 4 percent and
equip it to take on the country's "Big Four" lenders - HSBC
, Barclays Royal Bank of Scotland and
Both Lloyds and the Co-op were unavailable to comment on the
The Financial Times said the cancellation of the deal, the
terms of which were originally struck last summer, is set to be
announced as early as Wednesday. ()
Lloyds said last month that it was preparing for a stock
market listing of the branches as a fall-back in case the deal
with the Co-op fell through.
As a condition of receiving state aid during the 2008
financial crisis, Lloyds is obligated to sell the 630 branches
-- known as the Verde network -- by the end of the year.
However, bankers are sceptical that the divestment of the
whole business could be completed by the year's end, the
Financial Times said.