Ex-LendingClub CEO Laplanche Has Explored Takeover, Reuters Saysby
Founder said to approach buyout funds, banks on financing
Those discussions may not lead to a bid, the publication says
Renaud Laplanche, who stepped down as LendingClub Corp.’s leader a month ago, has since spoken to buyout firms and banks about the possibility of trying to take over the company, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
The former chief executive officer and chairman, who resigned May 6 amid internal reviews, approached the institutions to discuss potentially financing a bid, the publication wrote, without identifying firms. Talks were preliminary and may not lead to an offer, it said.
Spokesmen for Laplanche and LendingClub declined to comment on the report. The company’s stock climbed 4.6 percent to $4.59 in extended trading Tuesday as of 7:30 p.m. in New York, paring a drop earlier in the day.
Laplanche has said little since his surprise resignation last month set off a 38 percent slide in LendingClub’s stock. The company, which matches consumers seeking loans with investors willing to fund them, said the exit was prompted by two incidents: Staff had altered application dates on $3 million of loans before their sale, and Laplanche failed to disclose his interests in a fund that LendingClub was considering investing in.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Scott Sanborn and Executive Chairman Hans Morris have since struggled to assuage rattled shareholders and debt buyers. The stock fell 7.4 percent during regular trading Tuesday after the company abruptly adjourned an annual shareholder meeting, saying it wasn’t yet ready to address investors after last month’s leadership shakeup. The event has been rescheduled for June 28.
LendingClub said last month the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating what happened. Such scrutiny could complicate any effort by Laplanche to stage a takeover bid, Reuters cited one of the people familiar with the matter as saying.