Metro Bank suitor Carlyle ends takeover talks

Metro Bank deal is off table: US private equity firm Carlyle ends £180m buyout talks with British High Street lender

  • Metro says US private equity suitor Carlyle has walked away from takeover talks
  • Bank continues to ‘strongly believe in standalone strategy and future prospects’
  • Carlyle is now bound by strict City takeover code rules for the next six months
  • Metro share price has dropped by more than half since pandemic hit last year

British high street lender Metro Bank today revealed that its US private equity suitor Carlyle has walked away from£180million takeover talks.

Metro, which has more than two million customer accounts, said it continues to ‘strongly believe in the standalone strategy and future prospects’ of the group.

Carlyle is now bound by strict City takeover code rules for the next six months.

Its decision to pull out of discussions comes ahead of a deadline of December 2 at 5pm for Carlyle to either place a firm bid for Metro Bank or walk away from a deal.

Metro Bank said its US private equity suitor Carlyle has walked away from takeover talks

Metro had seen its under-pressure shares soar earlier this month when it confirmed a takeover approach from Carlyle.

Metro was valued at around £180million the day before revealing the bid interest, having seen its share price drop by more than half since the pandemic hit last year.

The company has been among mid-sized lenders struggling with low interest rates and increased competition from rapidly digital-focused start-ups.

It has also been undertaking a significant transformation after a major accounting error in 2019 led to the departure of its top bosses.

Last month, Metro cheered signs of a ‘gradual return to normality’ as lending remained flat in its third quarter.

The group reported lending of £12.3 billion for the three months to the end of September, holding firm on the previous quarter.

Earlier this month shares in Metro had slumped around 57 per cent since February 2020 as it struggled with low interest rates and competition. This graph shows its price since 2017

Metro announced the takeover approach from Carlyle earlier this month, sending its shares as much as 31 per cent higher.

Shares in Metro had slumped around 57 per cent since February 2020 as it and other mid-sized lenders struggled with low interest rates and competition.

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