Carlyle, KKR Said to Mull Bids for $1.6 Billion ANZ Finance Arm

Buyout firms Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co. are among parties weighing bids for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s vehicle and equipment financing unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The sale has also drawn interest from Australian lenders including Macquarie Group Ltd., Bank of Queensland Ltd. and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Ltd., according to the people. TPG Capital and Blackstone Group LP are considering a joint offer for the unit, which could fetch as much as A$2 billion ($1.6 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.

ANZ said last month it plans to sell Esanda, which includes about A$8.3 billion in lending assets comprising point-of-sale finance and other products offered to car dealers. Its adviser Deutsche Bank Group AG has asked for offers by June 29, the people said.

New York-based KKR teamed with Varde Partners and Deutsche Bank in March to buy General Electric Co.’s Australia and New Zealand consumer finance unit, which has an enterprise value of A$8.2 billion. TPG also bid for the unit, people familiar with the matter said in December.

Capital Requirements

A spokesman for Melbourne-based ANZ declined to comment, referring to the lender’s May 4 statement on the sale. Spokesmen for Blackstone, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, Carlyle, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie and TPG declined to comment.

ANZ and its competitors face the prospect of stricter capital rules. Australia’s four largest lenders may need as much as an extra A$30 billion, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. estimated after a government inquiry in December said banks should have “unquestionably strong” reserves.

Esanda had A$16.15 billion in net loans at the end of September, according to ANZ’s annual results filing. Its origins can be traced to an industrial finance business set up by English Scottish & Australian Bank Ltd. in 1953.

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