Lloyds gets rid of its final stake in Sir Stelios’s EasyCar business

Marion Dakers
LLOYDS Banking Group has sold off its stake in Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s EasyCar business for an undisclosed sum, it has emerged.

The bank disposed of the last of its holding at the end of last year as part of its exit strategy for investments made by Bank of Scotland, which was taken over by Lloyds in 2008.

The bank denied earlier reports that it had written off the holding.

Bank of Scotland’s private equity arm Uberior invested in EasyCar back in 2001, putting in a total of £27m in conjunction with the National Bank of Greece.

EasyCar declined to comment yesterday. The firm is set to launch a car-sharing service with lastminute.com backers PROfounders Capital.

Uberior delivered profits of £519m in 2007, but was forced to write down swathes of its investments amid the global financial meltdown.

Lloyds sold off more than £123m worth of investments held by Uberior in 2010, and wrote off a further £17.4m. Uberior swung to a pre-tax profit of £133m in that year, from a loss of £289m in 2009, according to its latest accounts.