Co-Op May Drop Lloyds Branches Bid, Telegraph Says

The Co-Operative Group Ltd. has called a meeting of its bank board this week and may discuss dropping its 1.5 billion-pound ($2.4 billion) bid for Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY)’s Verde branches, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Marks will update executives on talks with the U.K. Financial Services Authority, which wants to ensure that it has oversight of the entire company after the merger, the newspaper said. The banking division may make the decision to drop the offer for the 632 branches, the Telegraph said, citing an individual it didn’t identify.

“The process in terms of the Verde assets continues,” Russ Brady, a spokesman for Manchester, England-based Co- Operative Group said today in a telephone interview. “We’re in exclusive discussions with Lloyds and those discussions continue.” It’s a “complex” transaction, he said.

A spokeswoman for Co-Operative Group said separately that a regular meeting of the bank board is scheduled to take place this week.

To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at; Paul Dobson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

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