Challenger bank Shawbrook enters talks with pension funds and private equity firms about a £2bn sale
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Challenger bank Shawbrook has entered talks with pension funds and private equity firms about a £2billion sale.
The lender, which is owned by BC Partners and Pollen Street Capital, has also started discussions with other investors about possibly taking a stake.
It is unclear whether Pollen Street is looking to sell its entire holding in Shawbrook or retain part of it. Analysts said the bank could fetch a valuation of up to £2billion based on earnings forecasts.
The moves come after it was revealed last month that Shawbrook, which offers personal and business banking, is also considering a stock market listing. Shawbrook emerged following the financial crisis as a digital bank focused on lending to smaller firms.
It floated in London in 2015 with a price tag of £725million. However, just two years later, it was taken private again by BC Partners and Pollen Street for nearly £900million.
The move to take Shawbrook private again in 2017 came after a surprise announcement that it had taken a £9million charge from bad loans in its asset finance arm.
Its private equity owners have invested in its systems and technology to strengthen the bank. According to its last financial statement, Shawbrook, which sponsors Saracens rugby club, saw its loan book grow by 5 per cent in 2020 to £7.1billion.
It is one of a group of specialist lenders including Aldermore and OneSavings Bank which target people and businesses underserved by the mainstream banks.
Deal activity among challenger banks is heating up. Last year, the Co-op Bank made a bid of just over £1billion for TSB, which was rejected by owners Banco Sabadell. In December, The Mail on Sunday revealed TSB is expected to be put back up for sale this year after slashing costs.