Deadline for EBS bids pushed back as society to raise e438m
THE deadline for submission of final bids for EBS has been pushed out to the New Year, the Irish Independent has learned.
Irish Life & Permanent and Cardinal had been due to lodge final bids on December 22, bringing finality to a sales process that was originally expected to finish in September.
It is understood, however, that bidders have been contacted in recent days and told that deadline no longer stands.
Sources said bidders had been given no firm date for a revised deadline, but the delay is expected to be several weeks.
The decision to push out the deadline is understood to stem from the news that EBS will have to raise another €438m to reach new capital targets.
"Clearly the new capital targets changed the playing field," said one source, while others suggested that the Central Bank wanted more time to explore EBS's capital position.
The Cardinal consortium had originally offered to take EBS with no state support. In recent days, however, they have told the Government they would be willing to "share" the additional €438m burden but won't bear it alone.
IL&P is understood to be reviewing its bid in light of both EBS' capital requirement and IL&P's own situation. The bank restructuring package announced earlier in the week mandates financial institutions to pare back their operations.
Sources said this would make it "challenging" for IL&P to convince the regulator here, as well as the IMF and ECB, that it should be allowed expand its operations by buying EBS.
Spokespersons for IL&P, Cardinal and the Central Bank declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the National Treasury Management Agency, which is running the sales process.