LLOYDS Banking Group hopes to raise up to £400 million by selling a 20 per cent stake in wealth manager St James’s Place.
It will issue 102 million shares through a placing. Lloyds will retain about 37 per cent of SJP’s issued share capital, it said.
The share sale, which is being run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, would be worth just under £550m at St James Places’s closing share price of 536.5p.
Lloyds said the deal would allow it to “simplify the group and focus on its core customer franchise”. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposues but should boost its core tier 1 capital by about £600m.
There has been speculation that Lloyds’ chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio wanted to off-load all or part of the bank’s 60 per cent stake in the wealth manager, a FTSE 250 firm which it inherited through its acquisition of HBOS.