Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

EBS says private equity group may take stake

Dara Doyle and Louisa Fahy

EBS Building Society is in talks with Cardinal Asset Management that may lead to the private equity group taking a majority stake in the building society.

Talks with Cardinal are at an early stage, EBS Chief Executive Officer Fergus Murphy told reporters in Dublin today.

Nobody was immediately available to comment at Cardinal’s Dublin office.

“If this were to work, they could take a substantial stake,” Murphy said. “The soundings are good but the devil is in the detail.”

A private-equity investment could be an alternative to EBS taking part in a so-called third-banking force that may include rival building society Irish Nationwide, Murphy said.

Murphy is still “hopeful’ about the third-force idea and said talks have been on hold because of the banking recapitalisation process.

The Government last month told lenders they must raise new capital after lending decisions left the Irish banking system on the brink of collapse.

EBS is being advised by NCB Stockbrokers and KPMG.


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