ANZ Bank Said to Withdraw Bid for Lloyds Australia Assets

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. dropped out of bidding for Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Australian assets, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

ANZ decided against submitting a final binding offer as it judged a purchase wouldn’t add significant clients, one of the people said. The two people asked not to be named as the transaction is confidential. Final bids are due Sept. 30.

Westpac Banking Corp., Macquarie Group Ltd. and Pepper Australia Pty are among other bidders for Lloyds’ A$9 billion ($8.5 billion) in assets, which include a leasing and loan portfolio, people with knowledge of the matter said Sept. 20.

Britain’s biggest mortgage lender is off-loading operations it no longer considers essential as it shrinks its balance sheet after a government bailout in 2008. The U.K. last week started to sell its 39 percent stake in the London-based lender as part of a move to full private ownership.

Stephen Ries, a spokesman for Melbourne-based ANZ, declined to comment on the transaction.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Australian bank’s withdrawal earlier today. The newspaper said initial offers valued Lloyds’s commercial-lending and asset-finance units at more than $A1 billion.

(Updates with other bidders in the third paragraph.)
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