Monday 23 October 2017

Bid for EBS on track despite €438m capital requirement

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

THE international consortium bidding for EBS is prepared to go ahead with its offer, even though the building society has to raise an extra €438m to meet new regulatory rules.

But a spokesman for EBS's would-be owners declined to say whether the group would be asking the State to cough up some or all of the capital.

Headed by Dublin-based Cardinal Asset Management, the international consortium bidding for EBS also includes US investors Wilbur Ross and the Carlyle group.

The group had originally been prepared to take over EBS with no cash from the state. A spokesman yesterday declined to comment on whether the consortium would foot the bill for the new demand.

It is understood, however, that Cardinal is not contemplating abandoning its bid.

The other short-listed bidder, Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P), is reviewing its EBS offer in light of the Central Bank's demand that all banks sell assets and become smaller.

Sources said it would be "challenging" for IL&P to convince the Central Bank it should be allowed to buy EBS, when the Government wants the banks to shrink.

IL&P hoped to merge EBS with its banking arm Permanent TSB to create a third strong Irish-owned bank to compete with AIB and Bank of Ireland.

Even before the fresh demands, IL&P needed to raise €925m to create its new banking power.

Irish Independent

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