HBOS 'might be bought out by JPMorgan'

25 July 2008

A consortium headed by US investment bank JPMorgan could soon take over HBOS, the Daily Telegraph reports.

While the members of the group have yet to be finalised, the bank is thought to have already held talks with parties including the National Australia Bank and private equity firms.

The Spanish financial services firm Santander, which recently announced a successful takeover bid for rival UK mortgage lender Alliance & Leicester, is also likely to be approached, sources indicated.

For its part, JPMorgan is understood to be more interested in taking up an advisory role for the consortium, rather than purchasing large pieces of HBOS itself.

This is due to the fact that the bank is otherwise engaged, after taking over stricken investment bank Bear Stearns in March.

Commenting on the potential acquisition to Bloomberg, Singapore-based Leslie Phang at Schroders said: The trend in consolidation in the financials is poised to accelerate.''

None of the parties apparently involved in the deal wished to comment.

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