A consortium of Swiss and Qatari investment companies are in talks to buy Co-operative Bank, meaning the fate of the lender may not yet be sealed.
Switzerland’s Interritus Limited and Qatar’s Al Faisal Holding have held several rounds of talks with the bank’s board and advisers, Sky News reported.
The consortium was reportedly attracted to Co-op Bank because of its ethical credentials and would be prepared to take a long-term view to their investment in the lender.
However, it is understood that a deal with the lender’s hedge fund bondholders remains the most likely outcome.
And these companies – Blue Mountain Capital Management, Cyrus Capital Partners, GoldenTree Asset Management and Silver Point – could stand in the way of a Swiss-Qatari deal.
Co-op Bank announced it was up for sale in February and in March said it would require a capital injection of between £700m and £750m. It said most of this could be raised by swapping debt for equity and that a further £300m would need to come from issuing new shares.
Hopes of finding an outright buyer have faded in recent weeks, and it emerged last month that the hedge funds had begun talks with the Prudential Regulation Authority over the deal.