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Lloyds to float part of TSB biz

img_0053Lloyds Banking Group expects to float about 25% of its TSB business on the London Stock Exchange in June, the bank said. Lloyds was forced by European regulators to sell the 631 branches which now form TSB as a condition of receiving state aid during the financial crisis five years ago and it must therefore now sell the whole of TSB by the end of 2015. However, the number of shares being sold in the initial offer is at the bottom end of expectations and banking industry sources said they expect them to be priced at less than TSB’s book value of 1.5 billion pounds, meaning Lloyds will make a loss on the sale of the 200-year old brand. Lloyds had planned to sell the branches to the Cooperative Bank but that sale fell through last year when a 1.5 billion-pound funding gap at the Coop emerged. It subsequently revived the TSB brand, last seen on British high streets in the 1990s, with a view to a stockmarket sale. The bank already has 4.5 million customers and 6% of bank branches in the UK, making it Britain’s seventh-largest retail bank and giving it a headstart over other new entrants.

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