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Macquarie, ANZ Said Among Bidders for Investec Australia Assets

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Macquarie Group Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. are among firms planning bids for about A$2 billion ($1.8 billion) of loans being sold by Investec Plc, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Non-bank lender Pepper Australia Pty, buyout firm Archer Capital Pty and regional lenders Bank of Queensland Ltd. and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Ltd. are also among suitors studying the loan portfolio, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are private. National Australia Bank Ltd. also plans to bid, one of the people said.

Investec, which owns a bank and money manager in South Africa and the U.K., cut 80 jobs and closed or scaled back its Australian securities, equity capital markets and structured financial products businesses last year. In November, it appointed Ernst & Young, King & Wood Mallesons and Greenhill & Co. to review the potential sale of some Australian units.

Investec said in November it will provide an update by the end of March on the possible sale or joint venture of its Australian asset finance and leasing business and professional finance division, which lends to doctors, dentists and lawyers.

Officials at Investec, ANZ, NAB, Macquarie, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, Pepper and Archer declined to comment.

Investec said yesterday it was considering the sale of its London-based mortgage business after a recovery in the British home-loan market. It sold Investec Trust to the U.K.’s Salamanca Group for an undisclosed sum, the bank said in a Feb. 5 statement. The unit administered 600 trusts with assets of more than 4.5 billion pounds ($7.3 billion).

The bank said this week that full-year profit may be crimped after the rand slumped against the pound.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brett Foley in Melbourne at bfoley8@bloomberg.net; Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney at nsomasundara@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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