Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Request a Demo

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Levene’s NBNK Halts Trading in U.K., Said to Talk to NAB

National Australia Bank Ltd. has more than 300 retail branches in the U.K. with about 2.7 million customers at Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, according to its website. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg
National Australia Bank Ltd. has more than 300 retail branches in the U.K. with about 2.7 million customers at Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, according to its website. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- NBNK Investments Plc, the investment company founded by Lloyd’s of London Chairman Peter Levene, is in talks to acquire National Australia Bank Ltd.’s U.K. units, according to a person familiar with the talks. Trading in NBNK shares was suspended.

London-based NBNK wants to acquire Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks as a first step to bidding for more than 630 branches from Lloyds Banking Group Plc, said the person, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private. The talks are in an early stage and may not succeed, the person said.

NBNK raised 50 million pounds ($80 million) in August 2010 to make acquisitions and form a “substantial” consumer bank with a 4 to 6 percent share of the British banking market. National Australia has more than 300 retail branches in the U.K. with about 2.7 million customers at Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, according to its website.

NBNK’s shares will be suspended on London’s Alternative Investment Market until documents relating to acquisition talks are published, NBNK said in a statement yesterday. It did not name the company it was talking to.

The potential acquisition would be a so-called reverse takeover, the company said in the statement. “There can be no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming.”

Lloyds gained 0.3 percent to 30.75 pence at the close in London, making it the second-best performer in the five-member FTSE 350 Banks Index.

‘Only Natural’

Melbourne-based National Australia, the best performing stock among the nation’s so-called four-pillar lenders, said last month when it reported earnings for the quarter ended June 30 that its U.K. banking businesses “coped well with the slow credit environment.”

The ratio of late and impaired loans in the U.K. dropped to 3.27 percent at June 30 from 3.44 percent at March 31, the bank said.

An NBNK spokesman declined to comment beyond the statement. National Australia referred to comments previously made by Cameron Clyne, the bank’s chief executive officer.

“It is also only natural that we would look at other options” for its U.K. units, he said. “This would however, be against strict financial criteria with our key focus to generate value for our shareholders.” The Financial Times reported the story earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in London at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.