Ireland Selects Irish Life, Cardinal to Bid for EBS

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s Finance Ministry selected Irish Life & Permanent Plc and a group led by Cardinal Capital as the final two bidders for EBS Building Society.

The “sales process has moved to its final stage,” the ministry said today in an e-mailed statement. The companies will be asked to prepare final bids for Dublin-based EBS over the coming weeks, it said. The Cardinal group of bidders includes Carlyle Group and WL Ross & Co.

Ireland’s government is trying to sell EBS after it seized the mortgage lender in May. EBS needs to raise about 785 million euros ($1.1 billion) to meet new capital requirements set by the country’s financial regulator. The government, which has already injected 350 million euros into EBS, had pledged to provide the remainder needed if it does not secure outside investment.

The state also controls Anglo Irish Bank Corp. and Irish Nationwide Building Society and is poised to take a majority stake in Allied Irish Banks Plc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at