The Daily Telegraph - Business

Metro Bank plummets as Carlyle withdraws

- By Simon Foy

METRO Bank’s shares plunged by nearly a fifth after a US private equity giant abandoned takeover talks.

Carlyle, the New York-based buyout group, approached the challenger bank earlier this month about a potential offer, but said yesterday that it had “agreed to terminate discussion­s”.

Shares in Metro fell 18pc to 108.4p, valuing the company at just £186m.

Since its stock market float in 2016, when the lender was valued at £1.6bn, shareholde­rs have lost about 95pc of their investment. The bank, which is trying to revive its fortunes after a major accounting scandal, said its board continued to “strongly believe in the standalone strategy” and its prospects.

Carlyle’s decision to pull out of takeover talks comes just weeks after analysts and advisers said the prospect of higher interest rates might boost the appeal of challenger banks and lead to longawaite­d consolidat­ion in the sector.

Last month, Co-op Bank made a move for TSB. Despite being rebuked by TSB’s Spanish parent Banco de Sabadell, insiders said Co-op’s bosses remain “optimistic there will be discussion­s”.

The takeover regulator imposed a Dec 2 deadline on Carlyle to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Metro or walk away, leaving it with little time to confirm any bid.

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