EBS bidders want guarantees

Private equity groups looking to take a majority stake in Irish building society EBS are to seek assurances from the Irish government that it will help bear any future exceptional losses. The state-run group received bids from private equity groups JC Flowers, Doughty Hanson and Cardinal Asset Management, and bancassurer Irish Life & Permanent this week as it seeks to shore up its capital base following a property market collapse. The private equity firms are all seeking downside risk protection clauses as part of any deal.