UK banking group Lloyds has quashed rumours that it has received a 'multi-billion' pound offer for its life assurance, pensions and savings business, Scottish Widows.
According to Monday's London Evening Standard, the bank had received an approach from Edmund Truell, the founder of private equity firm Duke Street.
The paper said that despite Chief Executive Antonion Horta-Osorio ruling out a sale of the unit last year, regulatory capital pressures have made the potential sale "an attractive option".
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However the offer, which was thought to value Scottish Widows at around £5-6bn, was quickly denied by the High Street lender.
"Our insurance business remains a core part of the group and we have had no such approach," a spokesman told Reuters today.
Lloyds is due to release its first-quarter results tomorrow, with the focus likely to be on any updates surrounding Project Verde, the bank's name for its European Commission-enforced disposals of 632 of its branches.
On Friday, the company had to end its exclusivity agreement with the Co-operative Group, its preferred bidder for the branches.
"Given the renewed interest in the Verde business shown by NBNK, LBG [Lloyds Banking Group] will now consider detailed discussions with other parties but only once LBG is satisfied that any proposal is likely to achieve the appropriate regulatory clearances and offers greater value and/or certainty to LBG shareholders against its alternative option of an Initial Public Offering," Lloyds said in a statement.
Lloyds's shares were trading 0.06% up at 31.21p by 15:34 on Monday afternoon.
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